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Full text of "The life of Robert Paine, D.D., bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South"

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UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL 



IIMII 

00032690767 

This book must not 
be taken from the 
Library building. 



Form No. 471 




^, - T^ r^, TP. ^(^ FA IT KT H , IB -^ L 



THE LIFE 



OP 



J 



ROBERT PAIN 



H 



Bishoi) of ttie Mellioilist Eiilscop! Cluircli, m\1 



BY R. H. RIVERS, 

Author of" Our Younj^ People" and " Mental and Moral Philosophy." 



WITH AX INTRODUCTION CV 

REV. VJ. P. HARRISON, D.D., 

Book Editor of the I\f. E. Church, South. 



NASHVILLE, TENN. : 
SOUTHERX ^lETHODIST PUBLTSIIIXG HOUSE. 

1SS4. 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the j'ear 1881, 

Bt the Book Agents of the Methodist Episcopal Chirch, Sovth^ 

in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 






TO MARY AND MARTHA, 

the former the faithful wife of the subject of this 

biography, and the latter the equally faithful 

wife of the author — devoted friends in their 

early womanhood, and remaining true to 

each other, to their husbands, and to 

their god, through all the 

vicissitudes of life — 

This Volume is Most Lovingly Dedicated. 



PREFACE. 

Bishop Paine, years before his death, selected the author as liis 
biographer on condition any biography should be written. lie said : 
"I am not worthy of any thing more than an obituary to be published 
in our Church papers; but if my friends should think otherwise, I 
would be glad that the work of writing my life be placed in your 
hands. You have my entire confidence, and I am willing to trust 
you." He afterward wrote to me to the same effect. After his death 
the family, knowing his views, requested that these views be carried 
out. In addition to this, the Bishops, at their annual meeting in 
May, ]883, concurred in the request of the family. 

In January, 1884, diaries and other papers were placed in my 
hands, and in February the work was begun. A heavy charge was 
on my hands. I had to devote a part of each day to pastoral visita- 
tion. Two sermons were to be prepared for each Sabbath. A week- 
ly prayer-meeting was to be attended to, at which a suitable talk was 
to be delivered. All this demanded labor — earnest, constant, and 
often exhausting. The diaries and papers were to be carefully ex- 
amined. The work was completed on June 1. From February till 
June I was in company with the Bishop. It seemed to me that he 
was always present. I was reminded of an artist who was called 
upon to take the likeness of a deceased friend. He shut himself up 
in his studio for days, and communed with his departed friend. That 
friend came and sat for the picture. He saw him. He seemed to 
converse with him. He caught the expression of his countenance, 
the flash of his eye, and the contour of his features. The result was 
an excellent likeness. It was life-like and exceedingly accurate. So 
it has been Avith this writer. While alone in my office it litis seemed 
to me that my dear old friend and teacher was again by my side, and 
that I could almost hear him speak and touch his noble form. At 
night he was present in my dreams. Indeed, I could not sleep. I 
hardlv became unconscious for weeks. So near was he to me both by 



6 PREFACE. 



1/ 



day and by night that it was difficult for nie to withdraw my atten- 
tion from liim. I showed this in the frequent references wliich I 
made to liim as I appeared before my people. My attention was 
thoroughly engrossed. I accompanied him on his trips. I sat again 
in the recitation-room and listened to his lectures, delivered in that 
clear, ringing, musical voice which I can never forget. I listened 
again to his thrilling sermons, or bowed with him in humble prayer. 
I got nearer to him than I ever did during his life. I could almost 
hear the throbbings of his warm heart, and could see as I never saw 
before his deep religious feelings. Into his inner life, and away down 
into the deep chambers of his soul, I had constant and it seemed to 
me perfect access. 

Let not the reader misunderstand me. I am no spiritualist, no 
enthusiast. I simply mean to say that I became so thoroughly and 
so entirely absorbed in and with the subject of this biography that in 
thought and feeling I was constantly with him during the months I 
was engaged in writing the Life. I so expressed myself to somiC of 
my friends at the time the work was going on. 

To Mrs. Ludie Paine Scruggs the author is indebted for valuable 
information in reference to that sad part of his life during which the 
Bishop appears to have kept no regular diary. The book makes no 
pretensions to give a history of the stirring times in which the Bish- 
op lived. It is simply a Life of Bishop Paine ; and as a man is known 
by the company he keeps, the characters of those most intimately as- 
sociated with him are briefly presented. The incidents of his career 
are usually given in chronological order, and embrace his whole life 
from his early boyhood to his death at the advanced age of eighty- 
three years. 

The diaries and other papers furnished by the family have been 
I of invaluable assistance in the preparation of this biography. Every 
fact narrated is believed to be in perfect accordance with the truth. 
"Whenever possible the exact words of the Bishop have been given. 
"NVhcn tliis was not possible, his ideas have been fully and accurately 
expressed. I therefore ask a candid and charitable reading of this 
Life of one of our foremost men, and pray that its perusal may be a 
blessing to the reader. 



INTRODUCTION. 



The life of a great and good man is the property of the age in 
whicli he lives. AVhen that life has been spent in self-denying la- 
bors, and earnest effort to advance the welfare of the human race, 
the example should be recorded for the encouragement and instruc- 
tion of those who come after us. In an age of utilitarian philoso- 
phy, and in a country in which the worship of mammon has attained 
Buch proportions as to threaten the existence of society itself, we can- 
not afford to permit the benefactors of true civilization and progress 
to pass away without monument or memorial of their works. 

Making haste to be rich, and coveting the luxuries that only 
wealth can purchase, the present generation of our countrymen are 
placing too low an estimate upon the generous self-abnegation which 
voluntarily resigns the rewards of successful enterprise and the ac- 
cumulation of wealth for the purpose of devoting time, energy, and 
talent to the moral and religious culture of tlie poor and needy. 
The merchant, who employs every faculty in the acquisition of fort- 
une, finds his reward in the deference and respect which the world 
has always shown toward the possessor of great riches. The politi- 
cian, who studies the arts and the principles which lead to success 
in the political arena, obtains the desire of his heart and finds his 
reward in the fickle promises which seldom survive the brief hour of 
official station. In the lives of all men who have attained success, 
and have written their names upon the pages of history, there are 
lessons of wisdom which may serve to guide the footsteps of others, 
or to warn the ambitious aspirant of the dangers that lie in his path. 

The career of a Methodist preacher does not present to the super- 
ficial observer a theme of absorbing interest. We may expect no 
startling incidents, no "hair-breadth escapes," no profoundly excit- 
ing records of heroic struggles, of battles fought and won. Yet there 
is abundant material for the biographer and the historian in the life- 
stories of men whose names are remembered only bvthe few faithful 



8 Introduction, 



friends wlio valued tliein whilst living, and treasure their memories 
wlien they have passed away. 

The annals of a nation bear the names of tlie few ayIio have 
marched in the front of the army of progress. Tlie great body of 
tlie army, to whose endurance, fortitude, and skill the victories are 
due, are unknown to fame. The wisdom of the great statesman v.ho 
piloted the English ship of state through the storms and perils of 
the French Revolution has been celebrated by the pens and tongues 
of his countrymen. But there are only a few discerning men who 
have the ability to see, and the candor to acknowledge, that the 
Methodist preachers in Cornwall exercised a conservative influence 
over the elements of revolutionary disturbance, and thus preserved the 
English nation from the horrors of civil war and anarcliy. The des- 
titution and poverty which justified, in the eyes of many, the revolu- 
tion in France, existed also in England. But in the British King- 
dom a great man had been commissioned from on higb, and he and 
liis followers preached the gospel of Christ to the i)Oor, tlie neglected, 
and the oppressed, and the hoi:)es of heaven and eternal life sweetened 
the bitter cup of human poverty and gave to the struggling poor of 
England the poAver to endure v.ith heroism the burdens of their lot. 
Thus the AVesleyan Methodist preachers became the conservators of 
peace and the prophets of a new and happier era, whilst William 
Pitt stood at the front and received the credit for the stability and 
permanence of British institutions. 

To no class of men is American civilization more indebted than to 
the itinerant ^lethodist preachers. They have been to a large ex- 
tent the educators of the people. Following the footsteps of the 
pioneer, the l^g meeting-house was the first building erected for the 
use of tlie community at large by the zeal and fidelity of the itiner- 
ant preacher. He carried to the remotest corners the message of 
salvation. By his instrumentality neighborhoods were bound togeth- 
er in religious ties, and the ambition to excel in every department 
of human effort was fostered by his precepts and example. Few 
graduates of colleges were among these evangelists, but they were 
students whose diligence and energy overcame all difficulties. Earh' 
opportunities for gaining knowledge they had not, but they imjiroved 
every moment of time; digested well the books they read, and em- 
ph)yed for the highest purposes the learning they acquired. Their 
advent was an era in the history of the little communities planted 
in the great forests of the West and the South. A higher tone of 



Introduction. q 



public morals and a nobler outlook for life itself resulted from tlieir 
labors. Tliev were men of the peoi)le, and sjjoke tlie language of 
the people, but that language was ennobled and refined by tlie glo- 
rious truths of the everlasting g()si)el. Tlie ]'>il)le was tlie one book 
found alike in the cottage and the home of the prosperous man. The 
words of inspiration became a part of the speech of common life, and 
the doctrines of the Bible were the laws of society. 

Jt is due to the truth of history to declare that the American i)ul- 
pit has laid the foundation and constructed, in a large degree, the 
edifice of civilization upon this continent. The school and the school- 
master have followed the itinerant preacher, but they have come 
only in answer to the demand which has been created by the preach- 
ers of the gospel. The high estimate in which the i)ioneer preacli- 
crs were held by the rude, adventurous, but enterprising settlers in 
the wilderness was due to the intrinsic merits of these men of God. 
Not a man among them had any expectation of acquiring money, 
or social influence, or i)olitical ])ower, l)y i)erf«)rming the duties of 
the ministry. A life of poverty and toil, of hardship and self-denial, 
presented itself at the threshold of his career, but the young 
preacher's heart was aflame with the love of God, and the love of 
Christ constrained liim to labor for the souls of men. Feeling his 
insufficiency for tliis great work, his constant appeal was to the 
throne of grace, and the Holy Spirit clothed him with the armcr 
of a warrior, and he went forth to victory. Conscious of his want 
of literary acquirements, and knowing that tlie Holy Spirit imparts 
no gifts to encourage human idleness, he seized every moment of 
leisure to improve his mind. Books of real worth that were accessi- 
ble to him he studied with diligence, and the knowledge acquired 
was given to the people whom he served. The example was conta- 
gions. In every department of intellectual development and distinc- 
tion, in all the Avalks of life, there are men who owe to the example 
of these itinerant i)reachers the ambition to excel which has result- 
ed in the highest and grandest victories, to the greatest benefit and 
glory of the commonwealth. 

Among those men who have become the chief factors in the sum 
of moral and intellectual progress in this century, no name stands 
higher than that of Robert Paine. Beginning life with the dawn 
of the nineteenth century, he has been a principal figure in ecclesi- 
astical history for more than sixty years. A youth of great promise, 
enjoying the few facilities of education accessible in his time, he dc- 



10 Introduction. 



voted himself to the work of the ministry. He came to legal manhood 
and to full memhership as an itinerant preacher nearly at the same mo- 
ment. "With tireless assiduity he applied himself to the acquisition 
of knowledge. The lonely ride through the forest; the cosy nook 
in the cabin by the light of the blazing fire; the solitary spot where 
the overhanging boughs formed a grateful shade for his forest study — 
everywhere and at every time, when public duties did not engross 
his thoughts, he improved the opportunity for increasing his stores 
of knowledge. He studied the great book of nature, and communed 
with God whilst reading the volume of his works. Rocks, mount- 
ains, valleys, rivers, all had mysteries to be solved and lessons to 
be learned. He learned them well, and brought their testimony to 
the support and vindication of the volume of inspiration. 

He entered upon the work of the ministry in one of the most event- 
ful periods of Methodist history. The American Revolution was a 
protest against the establishment of monarchical institutions in 
America. Jealousy of kings and kingly power and aristocratic 
pride and presumption had been deeply inwrought into the fabric 
of American society. The establishment of a government "of the 
people, by the people, and for the people," had created a distrust of 
every proposition in Church or State which looked toward the cen- 
tralization of power in the hands of one man, or in those of a few 
men. Fearing the tyranny of one, communities often surrender 
themselves to the tyranny of the many. It was very natural that 
the republican politics of the nation should manifest itself in the 
government of the Church. The English Bishop, with his seat in 
the House of Lords — a temporal as well as spiritual ruler — was un- 
known in America, except by the unenviable reputation whicli be- 
longed to many of the prelates in the mother country. But the 
name was, in many quarters, the object of suspicion and dislike. That 
some prejudices should be formed against the Methodist Bishops in the 
United States is by no means remarkable. The plea that a scriptural 
name ought to be given to a scriptural office was sufficient with the 
wise and the reflecting, but there were many intelligent men who, 
for purposes of their own, found it profitable to use the prejudices of 
the ignorant and the vicious. It required no little heroism in the 
early Bishops of American Metliodism to face the criticisms of de- 
signing men and the unreasoning opposition of the multitude. But 
Francis Asbury was a man of nerve, and sustained by the conscious- 
ness of a j)ure purjxjse, having the glory of God and the good c>f 



Introduction. 11 



nioii only in view, he endurcnl nHsrei)resentati()n and petty malice 
and merciless persecution as a man who had a charge committed to 
him by the great Head of the Cluirch. 

Karly in tlie last decade of the eighteentli ceiitnry, James O' Kelly 
liad withdrawn from the Methodist Church, and the standard of re- 
volt which he set up had many followers. He claimed that the power 
of appointing the preachers to their circuits and stations ought not 
to be lodged in the hands of one man without some court of ap})eal. 
The Annual Conference was this court. Having failed in his effort 
to incorporate this measure into the economy of the Church, he with- 
drew, and carried many with him. The political situation was de- 
cidedly favorable to O'Kelly. There were many leaders of political 
apinion who were suspected of harboring the purpose of overthrowing 
the Republic, and introducing a Monarchy. Washington himself 
did not escape from this charge of treason to American liberty. The 
fierceness of this political warfare has never been excelled in the history 
of the country. But, in the midst of civil commotions, ecclesiastical 
dissensions, and clerical secessions, Asbury remained firm and pa- 
tient, keeping himself to his one work, disputing with no one, but 
approving himself as a man of God and a true Bishop and shepherd 
of the flock. 

When the declining influence of O'Kelly became manifest, and 
the failure of his seditious movement was no longer a matter of 
doubt, the controversy assumed a new phase. It was claimed that 
the preachers who were appointed to their stations ought to exercise a 
controlling influence over the men who were authorize<l to make their 
appointments. The presiding ciders, therefore, should be recognized 
as the Bishop's cabinet, and they should be elected by the Confer- 
ence from among a specified number of persons nominated by the 
Bishop. As a measure designed to give peace and rest to the Church, 
this dangerous proposition was adopted by the General Conference 
of 1820, and Joshua Soule was elected Bishop a few days previous to the 
passage of the resolution. After mature consideration the Bishop elect 
sent in liis resignation, refusing to be ordained to an office whose re- 
sponsibility was not lessened whilst the discharge of its duties had been 
seriously embarrassed, if not rendered impossible, by the action of the 
Conference. Thus, from 1820 to 1824, the question was kept open 
until a growing si)irit of conservatism caused the General Conference 
to recede from its dangerous position. The election and consecration 
of Joshua Soule, in 1824, settled this controversy, so far as the great 



1 2 Introduction. 



body of tlie Church and the majority of lier ministers were concerned ; 
but tlie flame of dissension was still burning, and the severe conten- 
tion resulted in the witlidrawal of several thousand members in 1828, 
who organized a non-episcopal branch of tlie Church. 

The progress of events has fully justified the action of the emi- 
nent men who resisted the api^eals of friends and the threats of ene- 
mies in defense of cardinal princi^jles which were involved in the 
measures of 1820. The best form of government, in Church or State, 
may become an engine of oppression in tlie hands of wicked and de- 
signing men. The worst form of government may be so administered 
as to jjostpone for ages the eflTorts of reformers, because the i)eople are 
not conscious of the burden to wliich they have submitted, or because 
they fear the introduction of evils greater than those to which they 
liave been accustomed. But in a system of Church government which 
deposits in tlie hands of the people the means by which the author- 
ities of the Church subsist, there can be little danger of depriving 
the people of their rights. The voluntary principle Avhicli prevails 
in all denominations of Christians in the United States is a sufficient 
safeguard against clerical oppression. Especially is this true of the 
Methodist ministry, who have no legal means of enforcing an 
obligation for the payment of a salary. If the people repudiate 
the I laim, there is no recourse, there is no court of legal jurisdic- 
tion. 

There were good and true men upon both sides of the controversy, the 
leaders in all instances being ministers. It is not a little remarkable 
that the first attempt to remodel the Methodist system of government 
was a movement in behalf of the i)reachers, whilst the issue which 
was presented in 1828 was made in the name of the people. Tliat 
tlierewas no great popular demand for the representation of the laity 
in the legislative department of the Church was proved by the re- 
sults. That there was no serious defect in the organization of Epis- 
copal M liodism lias been demonstrated by the history of the Church. 
The superiority of our system of Church government, as a conserv- 
ative and preservative polity, is clearly shown by comparison with 
the fortunes of Methodism in Great Britain. Among the Wesley- 
ans, the most jealously guarded and the most wisely tempered system 
of making the appointments of the preachers has not secure 1 the 
body from internal discord, and the erection of indei)cndent Churd es. 
The dissidents from the Wesleyans number more tiian onc-tbir.l of 
all the Methodists in Great Britain. The non-episcopal ^lethodists 



Introduction. 13 



of the United States do not exceed one in twenty of the membership 
in Methodist Churches. 

The fact which causes the minister to be prominent in all efforts 
for change in the government of the Church is his constant care and 
meditation upon the interests of the cause to which he had devoted 
his life. r>y degrees, and at the earnest solicitation of the clerical 
members, tiie laity became connected with the business of the Church 
througii the linancial boards at tlie sessions of the Annual Confer- 
ences. The gradual growth of the lay interest, and the demonstra- 
tion of the usefulness of these wise and prudent helpers, produced at 
last a quiet revolution in the mind of the Church at large. In 18GG 
the singular spectacle Avas presented to the world of a body of min- 
isters, forming a General Conference, admitting an equal number of 
laymen to the legislature of the Church without a petition from the 
laymen, or the serious agitation of the question by those who were 
most deeply concerned in the movement. 

Robert Paine, a young man of twenty-four, was a member of the 
Cieneral Conference of 1824, and soon became the friend and assist- 
ant of Bishop McKendree. By these fathers of Episcopal ]\Iethod- 
ism, McKendree and Soule, the young preacher became thoroughly 
instructed in the prin iples of the Church constitution, and when, 
twenty years later, the people of the South were driven to the neces- 
sity of assuming an independent position, Robert Paine was among 
the most prominent in the movement which j)reserved the institu- 
tions of Methodism in the Southern section of the United States. It 
was in the natural order of things that he should become one of the 
rirst men elected to tlie episcopal office by the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South. 

For thirty-six years Bishop Paine exercised the office of a Bishop 
in the Church of God. Hoav faithfully he filled this office the fol- 
lowing pages will testify. The record connects his name with every 
Aiunial Conference, and his memory is precious to thousands of 
preachers who loved him for his own sake, and esteemed him for the 
many qualities which distinguished his official life. 

No estimate of a Bishop's labors can be formed by those who are 
unacquainted with the difficulties of what is called the "stationing- 
roora." It is impossible that one man should be acquainted with 
the gifts, graces, and qualifications of a thousand itinerant preachers. 
Nor can he possibly know the peculiar circumstances which exist in 
the hundreds of circuits and stations to which the preachers are ap- 



14 Introduction. 



ix)intet1. It is necessary, therefore, tliat the Bisliop should have 
godly advisers, men of sound judgment, disinterested motives, and a 
controlling desire for the advancement of tlie kingdom of Christ. It 
is essential, moreover, that the person who is responsible for the ap- 
pointments he makes should have the right to select the men who 
are to help him in making them. If there is one man in the service 
of the Church who ought to be thoroughly im])artial in the distribu- 
tion of these appointments, it is the Bishop who is responsible for 
them. If he be a man of God, lie dare not allow any selfish motive 
to control him. If he be a wise man, he will not allow himself to 
be controlled by any other motive than the welfare of the Church. 
The Bishop is dependent upon the voluntary contributions of the 
people for his support. It v, ould be an act of folly to allow himself 
to be governed by any unvrorthy influence, for he must know that 
there are critical eyes upon liim, and no decision tliat he makes will 
be accepted simply because he has made it. It must commend itself 
to the judgment of those who are acquainted with the facts, and the 
slightest appearance of favoritism would be instantly detected. 

It will be seen, therefore, hoAV weighty this responsibility is, when 
the mere error of judgment may be taken for the perversity of an 
uncompromising M'ill, or the gratification of a personal motive. 
Kothing but thorough consecration to God, and continual depend- 
ence upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit, can qualify a man for 
this delicate and difficult work. Tliat Bishop Paine was a man of 
thorough consecration to the service of the Churcli, his biographer 
]ia.s fully proved in this volume. Beginning his career with ample 
means, Avhose natural increm.ent would have placed him without 
effort among the wealthy men of his generation, he gave his time 
and his property to tlie Lord of the harvest, and quietly endured 
the reverses of fortune which followed the civil war. Denying him- 
self the delights of a pleasant home, he entered upon long and fa- 
tiguing journeys, in perils by land and water, often under circum- 
stances that would have justified liis absence from the sessions of his 
Annual Conferences. 

A Methodist Bishop ought to be a good judge of men. He should 
have a competent knowledge of human character. There are many 
occasions that call for the gift which approximates the apostolic 
power of "discerning the spirits" of men. There are times when 
modest merit needs encouragement, and, in some instances, it must 
be discovered and brought forward into tlie sunliglit of op]iortunity. 



Introduction. 15 



•Some men are never promoted to places for wliich tliey are fully 
competent, because they lack that self-assertion which is frequently 
mistaken for talent. A Bishop rarely enjoys the privilege of listen- 
ing to the sermons of beginners in the ministry. It is doubtful if 
he could acquire much information concerning the real abilities of 
tliose young men whom he chances to hear. Embarrassment is the 
prevailing virtue of truly great men when they feel themselves in 
tlie presence of their superiors. I have called it a virtue, for it 
p.roves the absence of that pei-sonal vanity which is detestable in a 
minister, and because I believe that Bishop Paine was one of the 
finest examples of real pulpit power — greatest when recognizing his 
responsibility most, but trembling in the presence of a great occa- 
sion. He feared not the face of man, but he realized the presence 
of his Master, and trembled lest the duty of tlie hour should be im- 
perfectly performed. More than most men who are capable of lofty 
flights of oratory, he Avas dejjendent upon the sympatliy of his audi- 
ence. He knew, tlierefore, by his own experience that a certain 
measure of embarrassment in the pulpit is the necessary requisite to 
the highest success, and he was never inclined to form a judgment 
of others from opportunities which would have given a false impres- 
sion of himself. In his intercourse with itinerant preachers he was 
always studying them, as he studied every thing around him, that 
his knowledge might be made available for the advancement of the 
cause of Christ. 

One of the qualifications of a Methodist Bishop is the ability to 
ai)preciate, by practical experience, the sentiments of the Apostle 
Paul, when he said: "I know both how to be abased and I know 
Iiow to abound; everywhere and in all things I am instructetl both 
to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." The 
man who holds in his hands to a large extent the temporal welfare 
of helpless women and children should understand what it is to be 
hungry and to "suffer need." He who has never heard the howl of 
the wolf at his door-step can scarcely understand the pressure of that 
pinching want which frequently incapacitates a minister for the work 
intrusted to him. It is easy to preach endurance of the winter's cold 
when the preacher prepares the sermon by the warmth of a genial 
fire. It is no diflficult matter to exhort men to trust in Providence 
when our barns are full and there is no reasonable apprehension of 
lacking bread to-morrow; but he who knoivs how to be abased — he 
who has looked into the faces of wife and children, after revolving 



16 Introduction. 



the jjroblem of periling his integrity by accumuhiting debt in the 
face of stern donbt as to tlie ability to pay — he is thereby better pre- 
pared with tearful eye and prayerful heart to commend to others the 
example of the birds that have neither barn nor store-house. 

On tlie other liand, the absence of the ability "to know how to 
abound " must tend to narrowness of views and that depression of the 
soul which leads to poverty of mental and spiritual resources. He 
who has the knowledge of which the apostle sjjeaks is prejDared for 
any enter})rise which the Spirit of God presents to his courage and 
endurance, assured of the bounty that has never failed to honor the 
largest draft which faith lias ever drawn upon the bank of Provi- 
dence. "To know how to abound" is, therefore, to make a right use 
of the earthly riches which God has placed in our hands, not using 
them for the gratification of selfish appetites, but as stewards of the 
Ma.ster, distributing to others as freely as we have received. It is 
not necessary that the name of the donor should be recorded on sub- 
scription lists or engraved upon marble in commemoration of prince- 
ly gifts. It is enough if the hand has been ever open to the appeal 
of the poor and needy, and that the grace of charity lias been en- 
hanced by the kindly voice and the tone of sympathy which color 
the gift of silver with the ruddy radiance of gold. 

Of Bishop Paine it can be justly said that he had the knowledge 
of these two extremes of abundance and Avant. 

At the termination of the civil war he, in common with many 
thousands of our Southern countrymen, was deprived of the larger 
part of his property, and the remainder was so greatly depreciated 
in value as to make its possession a tax upon mind and heart, whilst 
it continued an uncertain source of income. Added to this stroke of 
adversity was the burden of an obligation assumed in behalf of an- 
other, which by patient and persevering industry he was enabled 
to discharge. To the man of honor there is no greater trial than 
the struggle for the payment of debts for which he has received no 
equivalent whatever. But bravely facing the issue, Bishop Paine 
endured the toil and anxiety which for himself and family he before 
liad never known. This "service of tables" was exceedingly dis- 
tasteful to a man whose whole heart was in the work of the minis- 
try, but it gave no occasion for the diminution of his labors in the 
episcopal office. The rest at home was alloyed by the burden of care, 
but it was not made the occasion for the postponement of the en- 
gagement or the excuse for the neglect of dutv. It was only among 



Introduction. 17 



Ins iamilinr friends that mention was ever made of the hardslni)^ of 
the dark and perihius days whose anxieties added many a furrow to 
his brow, lie had known, in other days, "how to aboiind." The 
Providence which had j^juided liis footste^js hitherto was leadini^ 
him, in the evening-time of life, by a way he had not known. 

Of his tenderness of lieart the records may be found in the memo- 
ries of those wlio liave never been turned away empty from his door. 
Averse to the display of a virtue which he held as fundamental to 
Christianity, he made no i)ublication of his charitable deeds, but 
they and their beneficiaries are among the nund)er of those wlio wel- 
comed him "to everlasting hal)itations." Those only who have 
shared his anxiety in the council-room can testify to the deep in- 
terest he felt in the welfare of the preachers who were stationed by 
him at the Annual Conferences. Afllicting scenes there nuist be, 
and he must be less than human who can look into the face of a man 
of (iod who has been appointed to a hard field of labor, where self- 
denial and suffering are inevitable, without feeling the great deeps 
of sympathy and compassion stirred. Sleepless nights and days of 
anxiety pass by all unknown to those who are tlie causes of these 
mental trials, and the strong lines which sometimes mark the face 
of the Bishop who reads the unwelcome news to some of his brethren 
are often made more rigid by the efibrt to suppress the sympathy 
which demands an utterance. 

But there are other interests that must be represented at the An- 
nual Conference. If the preachers and their families call for the ex- 
ercise of sympathy upon the part of the Bishop who makes their 
appointments, the Church, Avhose welfare is at stake, must not be 
forgotten. The carefulness which leaves no means of information 
unemployed, and the sagacity which determines the adaptation of men 
to the diversified fields of labor, are qualifications for the episcopal 
office which cannot be overlooked without serious damage to the cause 
of Christ. Accessible to the humblest member of the flock, indulgent . 
to none at the cost of candor and the claims of truth, Bishop Paine 
discharged these duties as one who must give an account to the Chief 
Shepherd, and preserved a conscience void of offense toward God and 
man. 

A Methodist Bishop should be a man of firmness. Decision of 
character is essential to the episcopal ofhcc. A man who can be 
turned about by every api)cal to his tenderness of heart, (-r by con- 
siderations which gnitily the claims of personal friendship, will lose 
2 



18 Introduction. 



the esteem of those competent to understand him, and the respect of 
those who try but fail to use him. On the other hand, he should 
be open to conviction, to the appeals of reason, and magnanimous 
enough to acknowledge an error when he is aware that he has com- 
mitted it. A man who considers himself infallible, and thinks him- 
self degraded by being proved in the wrong, has no qualifications 
that can compensate for a weakness that is fatal. Of all men whom 
I have known. Bishop Paine possessed a character most exquisitely 
balanced in this respect. Whether by slow or rapid induction he 
had formed an opinion, he was always ready to reopen the question 
and view it under the new light that was brought to bear upon it. 
Even when his opinion had been publicly expressed, the conviction 
of his judgment was reversed, and the acknowledgment was made, if 
in the meantime the facts appeared which proved his error. On a 
memorable occasion, he spoke hastily and unadvisedly in open Con- 
ference, and by doing so greatly wronged one of tlie young ministers. 
No sooner was the fact made apparent to him than Bishop Paine, 
with a majestic presence, and in a tone of voice that expressed far more 
than words can convey, publicly confessed his error and craved the 
pardon of the brother whom he had wronged. It was this nobility 
of character that made him truly great. A supreme love of truth 
for its own sake, and that largeness of soul that confesses an error as 
publicly as it has been committed, are virtues that belong only to 
nature's noblemen. 

Acquainted with all the vicissitudes of itinerant life; sympathiz- 
ing with every grade and degree of ministerial fortune and ability; 
with tenderness of heart which is called Avomanly because it approx- 
imates the divine; with unalterable resolution v/hen reason gave un- 
qualified approval; with heroic courage equal to any emergency of 
time and place; with inflexible will whose strength was chastened by 
submission to the will of God; with modest diffidence, distrusting 
liimself and giving all praise and glory to the Master whose service 
was his delight — Robert Paine fought the good fight, finished his 
course, kept the faith, and has ascended to the throne of his Ee- 

deemer, to receive the crown of eternal life. 

W. P. Hakrison. 
Nashville, Tenn., September, 1884. 



CONTENTS. 

Chapter I. p-^<'* 
Ancestry — Birth— Boyhoocl 23 

Chapter 1 1. 
Conversion— Entrance on the Work of an Itinerant Preacher. . . 2G 

Chapter III. 

Vohuiteers to go Sonth— Is Sent to Tuscaloosa Circuit— Does 
Faithful Work— Attends Conference — Sent to Murfreesboro 
— Sent to Lebanon '•^^ 

Chapter IV. 
Presiding Elder — Delegate to General Conference — Assists Bish- 
op McKendree in His Address, etc 33 

Chapter V. 
Improving as a Preacher — Marriage to Miss Susanna Beck — 
Stationed in Nashville— His Work— Presiding Elder— College 
President ^^ 

Chapter VI. 
Conference at Pulaski, Tennessee— Falling Meteors— President of 
La (i range College — Gifts and Graces 43 

Chapter VII. 
Studying Among the Eocks— College Life— Eigid Eeqnirements 
— Dangers — Courage 49 

Chapter VIII. 

Unselfishness — Courage — Sorrow 55 

Chapter IX. 
Second Marriage — Death— Grief— Eevival— Marriage to Miss 
Mary Eliza Milhvater — Family 59 

Chapter X. 

Professor Tutwiler — Honors — Agents 02 

(19) 



20 COXTr.NTS. 

Chapter XI. page 

Carlos Cir. Smith — College Life Closing — Work Accomplished.. . G8 

Chapter XII. 
Love for the Church 72 

Chapter XIII. 
The General Conference of 1844 — The Sequence 77 

Chapter XIV. 
General Conference of 184G — Struggles — Victory 81 

Chapter XV. 
Bishop Paine on His Rounds 85 

Chapter XVI. 
Fulfilling His Mission 91 

Chapter XVII. 
Great Missionary Meeting — Terrible Accident — Wonderful Prov- 
idence 94 

Chapter XVIII. 
Legal Question — Tennessee Conference 98 

Chapter XIX. 
Duty in the Midst of Danger 102 

Chapter XX. 
In the Great West — Returns Home 107 

Chapter XXI. 

General Conference — Cholera — Bascom — Excitement in the East 
— Work — Bereavement Ill 

Chapter XXIL 
Long Absence — Death Abroad and at Home — Powerful Preaching.l 17 

Chapter XXIII. 
Tliird General Conference — New Bishops — Removal of La 
Grange College 1 "21 

Chapter XXIV. 
Education in Alabama — The Soutiiern University — Providence — 
Perils— Law 120 



CONTENTS. 21 



ClIArTKR XXV. l>A(iK 

Cieneral (V)nference at Niisliville — Bishop Soule — Episcopal 
Tour 134 

Chapter XXVI. 
AVatcIi-iiiglit — John Kersey — Buchanan — Interesting Visit — 
Tlircatenings of War 140 

Chapter XXVII. 
The Civil War — Sorrow upon Sorrow 14G 

Chapter XXVIII. 
"Xotcs of Life" — Seeking for Truth — Dr. Basconi — Political Is- 
sues — President Monroe — Missions Among the Indians — De 
Soto 152 

Chapter XXIX. 

"Notes of Life" Continued — Tlie ""S^exed Question" — Presiding 
Elder Controversy — Change of Conference Lines — Sectarian- 
ism — Divorce — Divining Rod — Religious Controversy — James 
AV. Fariss 107 

Chapter XXX. 
"Notes of Life" Continued-^Marriage of Ministers — Administra- 
tion of Discipline — Pojiular Amusements — Financial Straits. .187 

Chapter XXXI. 
"Notes of Life" Continued — Removal of Indians — Holy Living 
— Sketches of Bishop Bascom — Church Polity 20o 

Chapter XXXII. 

General Conference of 1866 — Changes Made — Lay Element — 
New Bishops 222 

Chapter XXXIIL 

Southern Lniversity — Bishop Soule's Death — Memorial by Bish- 
op Paine 227 

Chapter XXXIV. 

Still Working — Depressed — Sick — Cnconscious for Months — 
Providential Kecovcrv — Renewed IMtacliing with I'owor 242 



22 CONTENTS. 



Chapter XXXV. page 
Finishing tlie Life of Bishop McKendree — Hard at Work — 
Growing Old Gracefully 250 

Chapter XXXVI. 
"Working Like a Young Man 254 

Chapter XXXVIL 
Death of Bisliop Andrew — Bishop Paine in Louisville 259 

Chapter XXXVIIL 
Central L'niversity 262 

Chapter XXXIX. 

Inner Life — Vanderbilt University — General Conference 271 

Chapter XL. 

Seventy-Fifth Anniversary — Domestic Afflictions — Heroic Devo- 
tion to Duty 276 

Chapter XLI. 
Still Suffering and Working— Dr. Palmer's Visit 292 

Chapter XLII. 
"Xotes of Life"— Wesley Hall— A Fraternal Meeting 294 

Chapter XLIII. 

Bisliop Paine Retiring — Dr. McFerrin's Speech — Bishop Pierce's 
Address — Great Feeling — Death of T. O. Summers — Ordain- 
ing XcAv Bishops — Eeturning Home to Die 299 

Chapter XLIV. 
Closing Scenes — Triumphant to the Last 304 

Chapter XLV. 
Summing Up of His Life and Character 310 



LIFE OF BISHOP PAINE. 



CHAPTER I. 

Ancestry — Birth — Boyhood. 

ABOUT the year 1699 Dr. James Paine landed in Amer- 
ica. He was an Englishman, and had been educated 
in London as a physician. After remaining a short time 
in New England, he settled in what is now Person county, 
North Carolina. He was a man of affairs, and erected the 
first brick house ever seen in Person county. He had four 
sons, one of whom was named Robert. He was the grand- 
father of the Bishop, and was married to Elizabeth Miller 
in 1772. James Paine was the fruit of this marriage, and 
was born on Uarch 18, 1776. Robert, the grandfather of 
the Bishop, was also a physician, and was among the patriots 
of the Revolutionary war, and was commander of a company. 
After he close of the war he was elected to the Legislature 
of his native State, and became a prominent member. He 
wa5 a sensible, pious, and generous-hearted Christian gentle- 
man. He died in 1808, universally honored and respected. 
James, the oldest son of Dr. Robert Paine, was the father 
of the Bishop. He was educated at the University of North 
Carolina, and was married to Miss Nancy A. Williams on 
January 7, 1799. He was for many years the efficient clerk 
of the High Court in his native county, and held the office 
until his removal to Giles county, Tennessee, in 1814. He 
was a modest, quiet, sensible, and useful Christian gentleman. 
He never sought office, but was for many years a leading 

(;23) 



24 LIP^E OF ROBERT RAINE, D.D. 

magistrate in Giles county. He brought up a large fomily 
of sons and daughters, of whom Ivobcrt was the oldest. He 
"vras a gentleman of the olden times, possessed of large wealth, 
owning and cultivating a fine plantation in the rich county 
of Giles. The Bishop says of him : " My father had no as- 
pirations for either civil or military honors, although he was 
prevailed npon to act as Judge of the County Court, and 
was for many years a justice of the peace." He was re- 
markable for sound judgment, integrity of principle, and 
Christian consistency. He was a gentleman of fine culture 
and sjiotless reputation, pleasant in conversation, just in his 
dealings, wise in counsel, and possessed of the highest do- 
mestic virtues. He was thrice married. Robert, the sub- 
ject of this memoir, was born in Person county, North Car- 
olina, November 12, 1799. 

It will be seen, as we accompany him through a life of 
more than eighty years, that he was in all respects worthy 
of a noble ancestry. His father of fine English blood and 
his mother of Welsh descent could both look with hope to 
the future of their first-born. He was bright and promis- 
ing, and gave no little joy to the youthful couple. He soon 
exhibited those elements of character which marked him all 
along his eventful life. He was in no respect inferior to 
those who gave to him the heritage of a good name. He was 
a modest, brave boy, and from his early boyhood always 
loved and told the truth. He always prided himself on his 
love for the truth, which he had always practiced from his 
boyhood to manhood and from manhood to old age. While 
at school in North Carolina he made rapid progress. The 
family had scarcely settled quietly down in their Tennessee 
home before they learned there was an excellent school in 
the neighborhood. This was under the management of 
William Brown, a graduate of the University of North 
Carolina, and a brother of the Hon. A. V. Browu, who 



S 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 25 



aftenvard became distingiiislied as a politk-ian, and was at 
one time Governor of tlie Htate of Tennessee and at another 
a member of Congress, and was also a member of tlie cabi- 
net of President Polk. William Brown was a good teaclx'r, 
and was always proud of having had Robert Paine as his 
pupil. The study of the classics now largely engaged his 
attention, and here he laid the foundation of his education. 
Greatly to his regret, the school closed in a year, and he 
spent a year as clerk in a mercantile house in Pulaski. Pic 
was active, intelligent, polite, and popular. Although full 
of life and fond of fun, he allowed nothing to interfere with 
his duties to his employer. He was thoroughly honest and 
very methodical and accurate in attending to business, still 
the business did not suit him. He thirsted for knowledge. 
He desired to perfect himself in the classics, in which he 
was already quite proficient, and to make himself master 
of the higher mathematics. It so happened that a good 
opportunity was afforded in a school of high grade taught 
by Dr. AVier and Professor Alexander in the village of 
Lynnville, Giles county, Tenn. Thither he went in Jan- 
uary, 1816. He went to work with his usual vigor. He 
pursued his studies with such success that he was soon ready 
for the sophomore class of the colleges of that day. 

It has been stated again and again that he was educated 
at Chapel Hill, and that he w as a classmate of President 
James K. Polk. This was not true. He did not carry out his 
purposes in that direction. His father greatly desired him 
to do so. He had him ready to start to Cumberland Col- 
lege, at Nashville, but his son felt it to be his duty to enter 
at once upon the work of the ministry. "Conscience set- 
tled the matter then, and he was never disposed to unsettle 
it." He was a good scholar, thorough in English and profi- 
cient in the Latin and Greek lano-uai^-cs and in mathematics. 
He also studied French and became acquainted with Hebrew. 



26 LIFE OF EGBERT PAINE, D.D. 



CHAPTER II, 

CoNVERSTox — Entrance on the Wori%: of an Itinerant 

Preacher-. 

THE parents of Robert Paine were up to this time mem- 
bers of no Church. They v.ere inclined to the Baptist 
denomination. The training of Robert was moral but not 
religious. He was taught to be truthful and honorable, and 
alwa}'s had the greatest respect for religion. When a room- 
mate of his at Dr. Wier's school uttered infidel sentiments, 
he said in reply: "These sentiments of yours are intolerable 
to me. I cannot room with an infidel. After to-night we 
part, and I go to another boarding-house." He had been 
taught and believed the Bible to be true, and the fear of 
being an infidel determined him at once to separate from 
his room-mate. His conversion was on this wise: He had 
been the subject of deep religious impressions from early 
life. These feelings were intensified by the death of his 
mother. She was soundly converted, and died uttering as 
her last words, "Peace, peace." She was a good mother, 
and her dying-words had a powerful effect upon his young 
and susceptible heart. About a year after her death he was 
greatly affected by the preaching of the Rev. Thomas L. 
Douglass, who had been connected with his father as clerk 
in a mercantile house in Korth Carolina, when they were 
both boys. A camp-meeting was to be held at Pisgah, in 
Giles county, in October, 1817. Douglass was the presid- 
ing elder, and Miles Harper preacher in charge. At this 
meeting his fi-iend Sterling Brown went forward as a seek( r 
of religion. R()l)ert, although deeply affected by his friend's 
going f(.)rward, failed to do so, and went alone into the neigh- 



BISHOP OF THE M. K. CIIl'RCir, SOUTH. 27 



boring forest and offered up prayer, souglit religion, and de- 
termined to be a Chrii^titin. INIany were converted, but he 
Avas not among the nund)er. He could not overcome hia 
deep-seated repugnance to what he called "religious sensa- 
tionalism," hence he gave no public indication that he 
■was a seeker of religion. Yet he was in earnest. Alone 
in the forest, he resolved to search the Scriptures, and from 
them to learn the way of life. He left the camp-meeting 
to carry out this purpose. He continued reading his Bible 
and praying until the following Sabbath, October 9, 1817. 
There was a meeting at the house of Davis Brown. Thither 
Eobert went, and there, bowing before God in prayer, he 
resolved to give himself to the work of savinir his soul. 
Before the meeting closed he was soundly converted. The 
evidence was strong and clear. He felt the burden of sin 
removed and that his heart was renewed by the baptism of 
the Holy Ghost. He was satisfied. He knew that he was 
born again. He was happy. Love to God and man was 
shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost. He was not 
noisy, yet he was so overpowered by a sense of God's redeem- 
ing and forgiving love that all the darkness of the past was 
made luminous and every doubt and fear removed. From 
that day to the hour of his death he never doubted his con- 
version. For sixty-five years he celebrated in his heart, and 
often in grateful words, the return of the day which marked 
the anniversary of his conversion. His conversion, so bright 
yet so calm, filling him with the love of God, was followed 
by his immediate connection with the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. About the same time Hartwell and Sterlin<T 
Brown were also converted, and by the advice of the pre- 
siding elder, the Rev. Thomas L. Douglass, these young 
men went to the Tennessee Conference, which was opened at 
Franklin, Tenn., October 30, 1817. Robert had not yet 
been baptized, and of course had not been fully admitted 



28 LIFE OF ROBERT FAINE, D.D. 

into the Church. During this session of the Conference lie 
received the ordinance of bai)tism by pouring. The Rev. 
Miles Harper administered the ordinance. Our young con- 
vert was deeply impressed by the Conference. *'The session 
uas held in a narrow, long, low school-house near the old 
INIethodist Church. Bishops Robert R. Roberts and Enoch 
George presided alternately. The sermon of Bishop Rob- 
erts on Sunday, at the court-house, on Hebrews ii. 3, was 
deeply impressive, and under it there was a great display of 
divine power. The Conference embraced the whole State of 
Tennessee, all of Kentucky south of Salt River, and a por- 
tion of South-western Virginia. The religious impression 
made uj)on the community v as very great. A revival be- 
gan early in the session and continued to the close. Scores 
were converted. Our young soldier felt the call of God, 
*' Go preach." He had not been licensed. Not one month 
had passed since he first felt the glow of divine love and 
rested in Christ. He could not be admitted into the Con- 
ference without a palpable violation of the Discipline of 
the Church. Yet he must preach. He had once in the 
absence of the preacher been called upon to deliver a ser- 
mon. His text was, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and 
are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." The word had 
its effect, for God was with him. So it was determined to 
take the young man and put him to work. Some time 
after the Conference he returned to Giles county, and at 
a quarterly-meeting Conference, held at Rehoboth, he was 
licensed to preach. He was really not licensed until Jan- 
uary, after he had been on the circuit some months. He 
was immediately engaged by the presiding elder, the Rev. 
T. L. Douglass, to travel on the Nashville Circuit with 
Miles Harper as senior preacher. ^liles Harper was no 
ordinary man. He had been largely instrumental in the 
conversion of his youthful colleague, had baptized him, 



BISHOP OF THE ^l. K. ("IIUHCII, SOUTH. 



29 



and possessed his largest confidence. It \va« \vell they shoukl 
l)c thus intimately associated. It was a blessing to one so 
voun'>- to have such a friend as Miles Harper. " Burning in 
zeal, eloquent in speech, witli an unusual degree of unction 
in his public prayers and sermons," he nearly always touched 
the hearts of his hearers. At a camp-meeting he was almost 
irresistible. While he was preaching i)ersons would invol- 
untarily rise to their feet and press toward the preacher, and 
often kneel and cry for mercy. He was almost a natural 
orator, with vivid imagination, deep feeling, great courage, 
and a strong, clear, and musical voice. Such was the ma:i 
Avho became the adviser and instructor of the youth Paine 
in his first efforts to preach the gospel. This was the old 
method of preparing our young men for the ministerial of- 
fice. We had no theological schools. The circuit, er.com- 
passing many square miles, was then the only school of the 
prophets. So on the Nashville Circuit, with Miles Harper 
as his example and instructor, Ilobert Paine first learned to 
preach the gospel. He says: " We had the pleasure of see- 
ing the work of the Lord prosper in our hands. Many were 
converted and some sanctified." 

The next Conference opened at Nashville on October 1, 
1818. Bishops McKendree and George presided. At this 
Conference twenty-six were admitted on trial, of whom Kob- 
ert Paine was one. He was appointed in charge of Flint 
Circuit. He was still a youth in his teens, but he did not 
hesitate. Brave, zealous, prudent, and fiiithful, he was 
blessed with a revival continuing through the year. lie 
says: "One hundred and sixty souls were ccmverted at two 
camp-meetings, a general revival going on all aroun 1 tlie 
circuit, an increase of two liundred and thirty me:iibers, 
and all was peace and love." 



30 LIFE OF ROBEIIT PAINE, D.D. 



• CHAPTER III. 

VOLUXTEEKS TO Go SoUTH — Is SenT TO TuSCALOOSA CIRCUIT — 

Does Faithful, Work — Attends Conference — Sent to 

MURFREESBORO SeNT TO LEBANON. 

OCTOBER 1, 1819, the Confereuce again met in Xash- 
ville. A call was made for volunteers to go South. 
Ro')eit Faine at once offered his services and was accepted. 
He was appointed to Tuscaloosa Circuit. Here he had all 
the difficulties to encounter incident to a new country. The 
streams were without bridges, and frequently he risked his 
life in crossing them. The settlers were often many miles 
apart, and frequently he had to go without a road through 
the dense, unbroken forests. He says: "My life was often 
in imminent peril, but out of all these troubles the Lord 
delivered me." Here he formed many permanent friend- 
ships, to which he loved to recur in all his subsequent life. 
Dr. Robert L. Kennon, a prince in Israel, a min of the 
highest talents and loftiest Christian virtues, was among 
these early friends. He did not live to see his young friend 
a presiding Bishop in the INEethodist Church, but he did live 
to see him advanced to high position, adorning all the walks 
of refined social life, raising high the banner of the cross, 
a teacher in Israel of exalted worth, and eagerly pursuing 
the path which his youthful feet were then treading, and 
which has been made illustrious by apostles and martyrs 
along all the ages. Dr. Kennon himself was among the 
greatest and best of our Southern preachers. His sun set 
at noon, but it shone with ineffable brightness to the last. 
No man did more for the cause of God in Alabama thai 
this early and life -long friend of the young preacher. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 31 



This ^\•ol•k ^vas three hundred aiul tAvcnty-five miles in 
circuit, and embraced twenty -eight appointments in fuur 

weeks. 

October, 1 820, the Tennessee Conference was held in IIop- 
kinsville, Ky. No bishop was present. Robert Paine was 
a|)parently ruined in health by the severe labors of the year 
j ust closed. He, however, went up to the Conference on horse- 
back, and was admitted into full connection, though not or- 
dained. This year he was stationed at Murfreesboro. He 
liad access to one of the best libraries in the State. He 
read history, science, and literature with an avidity and a 
profit rarely equaled. His thirst for knowledge Avas being 
satisfied. He was a learner, and the best books were his 
teachers. He wrote rigid analyses of the works read. He 
1 ecame enamored with natural science. He read chemistry, 
astronomy, physics, and enjoyed the reading. He read Shake- 
speare, and appreciated the great dramatist. He read Mil- 
ton, and was filled with rapture as he followed the flights of 
his imperial imagination. Then his Bible and the stand- 
ards were not neglected. He made great improvement in 
preaching. His language became refined and elegant. His 
imagination seemed inspired. Me surpassed the expectation 
of his friends and won upon the community and the Church 
as few young men ever did. Sterling Brown was then the 
wonder of Tennessee. His enthusiasm drew with more than 
magnetic power. He was all aflame with love and zeal. He 
excelled in almost every department of sound eloquence. His 
command of language seemed almost inexhaustible. His 
power of description was exhibited in tl:e highest form of 
word-painting. The picture was right before the hearer, 
filling him with wonder, startling him with terror, melting 
him with its tenderness, or winning him with love. But in 
no respect was Sterling Brown the superior of Robert Paine, 
while in varied learning, thorough culture, delicate r.r.d ele- 



32 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

gant taste, Paine Avas actually surpassing all tlie young men 
of his age. 

Noyeniber, 1821, tlie Conference met at Salem, Bedford 
county, Tenn. On Noyember 11 our young preacher was 
solemnly ordained a deacon by Bishop ^IcKendree, and 
was returned to Murfreesboro and Shelbyyille. This year 
was as the ^^ast, and was profitable to all. The people were 
delighted, and he was rejoic^.d because of the opportunity 
afforded for continued improvement. The next Tennessee 
Conference was held in East Tennessee, and he v.as taken 
violently ill of a bilious fever. He was sick for seven 
weeks, and his life was despaired of. He himself had no 
hope of living until his faithful friend Rev. W. B. Peck 
was conversing with him about the plan and manner of his 
burial. He said: "I felt a confidence that I should get 
well. I commenced at once to improve, and finally recov- 
ered. This is the Lord's doing, bless his holy name! " Im- 
mediately upon his recovery he went to his appointment, 
which was at Lebanon and Franklin. Pie did not arrive 
until about the middle of January, 1823. He continued to 
grow in favor with God and man, as was shov.n at the next 
Conference, held in Huntsville, Ala., November 26, 1823. 
Here he was elected and ordained elder, and elected a dele- 
gate to the General Conference. He was appointed presid- 
ing elder of the Forked Deer District. From this time on 
he is always found in the front ranks. Preaching before he 
was licensed by the Church, traveling a circuit in less than 
one month after his conversion, a stationed preacher before ho 
was twenty-one years old, a presiding elder and a delegate 
to the General Conference at the age of twenty-four years. 
From this time on he attended every General Conference, as 
delegate or Bishoj), until his death — fifteen in all, and in nine 
of which he presided as Bishop. Seldom has any man among 
us risen so ra})idly, and certainly not one more deservedly. 



BISITOP OF THE -SI. E. CIirKC'II, SOUTir. 



T 



CHAPTER IV. 

ruESiDiNG Elder— DELKfiATE TO General Conference- 
Assists Bishop McKendree in His Address, etc. 

II E Forked Deer District, to which Robert Paine Avas 
appointed at the Conference ^vhich began its session ut 
Huntsville, Ala, November 26, 1823, embraced a hirge 
scope of country. It extended from Florence, Ala., to tlie 
Mississippi River, and to the line of Kentucky, embracing 
the *' Purchase," and also extended all along the northern 
boundary of the State of Mississippi— a territory consider- 
ably larger than that now occupied by the present Memphis 
Conference. Early in January the young presiding elder 
set out on his mission. His first quarterly-me^eting was on 
the Bigbee Circuit. He preached with great liberty and 
success^ and after preaching on Sunday came very near los- 
ing his life. He says: "After preaching, as I was going 
off with Father Brewer, I got my foot hung in the stirrup. 
My horse became alarmed, and dragged me under him and 
along the road, tramping over me and kicking. Just as he 
started at full speed to run between a stump and the fence, 
where I must have been instantly killed, Divine Providence 
released my foot, and I escaped unhurt. This is to me one 
of the strongest and surest pledges that my God is my guard. 
O that I may love and serve him more faithfully ! ^ly soul, 
praise and adore him!" This was by far the most diffi- 
cult work to which he had been appointed. He often had 
to lodge in a log-cabin of only one room, lighted by pine- 
knots, and uncomfortably crowded with people. He gives 
an account of having to spend one night in an open ca])in,' 
in which there were but two beds for seven adult persons. 



o4: LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

111 speakiii<^ of these trials, lie says: "I thank God that I 
envy neither the rich nor the great. I feel that I am dis- 
charging my duties. The peoj)le are Y»ry poor, honest, and 
pious. I was never better satisfied. I am happy in relig- 
ion, and not afraid to die. This evening I have been much 
blessed. O how I do realize the poet's words ! 

Lord, how secure and blest are they 

Who feel the joy of pardoned sin ; 
Should storms of wrath shake earth and sea, 

Their nnnds have heaven and peace within." 

Again he says : " I have labored with my own hands until 
they are blistered and very sore. Am studying a v^'ork on 
chemistry. Country full of wolves, bears, and panthers. 
Thank God I have continued peaceful, and that I am grow- 
ing! I desire more humility, zeal, and love. Glory, glory 
be to God for pure and sweet religion ! " I have made these 
extracts from his diary to show how amidst crosses, hardships, 
and even dangers, he was sustained by the grace of God, and 
was rising to a higher life. His studies were not neglected. 
By day and night, on horseback and in the humble cabin of 
the pioneer, he was pursuing his studies. He kept himself 
busy all the time. If necessary he would help a poor brother 
put up a fence or build a stable, or assist in any needful work, 
until his hands were blistered almost, and forced him to stop. 
If the wolves and bears were alarming the women and kill- 
ing the stock, he Avould shoulder a gun and accompany his 
host in the chase, and then at night he was found studying 
the profoundest works on natural science then at his com- 
mand. He says: "Finished w^ork on natural philosophy. 
Pleasing and sublime study." But the most gratifying part 
of his experience as a presiding elder is his growth in grace 
and his almost rapturous joy when he finds that he has been 
instrumental in doing good. He says : " Blessed be Gotl that 
I have been so honored as to be instrumental in the salvation 



nlSIIOP OF TIIK M. i:. CnURCIT, SOUTH. 



35 



of «ouh I have been often tempted to think that thoio are 
no^eal seals to my ministry. A^vay ^vith sueh thoughts! 
Loi-a make me more humble, patient, zealous, and holy. 
God in his wisdom may keep me from knowing the goo. 
I may be instrumental in accomplishing, but I trust I shall 
see in eternity many happy souls whom I have led to Chnst 
For this I am willing to suffer cold and hunger, and mdeed 
all other privations. O my soul, awake to the importance of 
the ministry! How anxious I should be to bring to glory 
and to save immortal- souls! God of omnipotence, clothe 
me with divine energy, and help me so to preach and exercise 
mvself as to be able to count thousands of souls as stars .0 
„,y crown in eternity. Spirit of God, rest upon me and at- 
tend my labors." Again he says: "It is my heart s desire 
to be a useful, holy, and powerful minister of Christ, and 
see the work revive all over the district. I pray for my 
preachers, that they may be as flaming seraphs ti-ora on higli 
sent on a mission of eternal importance." It is no marvel 
that the cause of God prospered in his hands. Ho was 
abundant in labors, preaching whenever he had oppor u- 
nitv He flamed like a seraph himself, and imparted his 
spir-it largely to his preachers. He had converts at most 
of his quarterlv-meetings, and was himself hungering and 
thirsting for perfect love. He was a man of one work 
His consecration was entire. His lips seemed to be touched 
with a live coal from the altar. A vein of deep piety was 
exhibited in all his public ministrations and in his private 
walk He was a close student that he might become a more 
useful man. He consecrated all his knowledge to God. 
Ho brought every power with which God had invested h.m, 
and laying all upon the altar, said, "Lord, I am thine. 

After around on the district, he had to leave for the Gen- 
eral Conference in Baltimore. He started in March in com- 
pany with Bisliop McKciidree and the Kev. fhomas L.Doug- 



36 LIFE OF FvOBERT PAIXE, D.D. 

lass and wife. They did not get a palace car at Nashville 
and arrive at Baltimore in tAventy-six hours. The old Bishop 
was in a carriage and the rest on horseback. They crossed 
the Cumberland Mountains into East Tennessee, and thence 
into North Carolina and through Virginia to Baltimore. It 
took them nearly six weeks to accomplish the journey. It 
seems now^ almost incredible that Mrs. Douglass, who weighed 
more than two hundred pounds, should have been able to 
accomplish such a journey on horseback. Of this trip 
Bisho23 Paine writes in his " Notes of Life : " " It would be 
unnecessary and too tedious to dwell upon the incidents of 
that long trip over mountains and bad roads, or to repeat 
by narrative the sufferings endured by my loved and vener- 
ated charge. Bishop McKendree, and how often I bathed 
his aching and swollen feet after a hard day's travel, and 
sought by self-denial to get him a night's rest. Passing 
through North Carolina, visiting my relations, and thence 
through Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia, we arrived at 
Baltimore on May 1, 1824. I was sent v.ith the Bishop to 
the house of William Watkins, a merchant living in Light 
street, where we found a hearty welcome in an intelligent 
Methodist family. The memory of Mrs. Watkins and of 
that precious circle' is still fresh and sweet after the lapse 
of fifty-eight years." The number of delegates was one 
hundred and thirty-four, of whom Robert Paine was the 
youngest. The address of the Bishops was prepared under 
the direction of Bishop McKendree, but it was the compo- 
sition of the youthful delegate. He wrote and rewrote it. 
He subjected it to the closest criticism both by himself and 
the old Bishop. He spared neither j^ains nor labor to make 
every word the very best that could be selected, and to have 
every sentence without a fault and beyond criticism. He 
always said that its preparation involved the greatest hilior, 
but that it was to him a real benediction. It opened up to 



BISHOP OF THE M. K. CIIUKCII, SOUTH. 37 

liini 11 new field, and caused him to study more thoroiifihly 
the constitution of tlie Methodist Episcopal CJuirch. It 
was during the prei)aration of this address that he laid tlie 
foundation for that rigid and accurate construction of ec- 
clesiastical law for which he became famous during his long 
service as a Bishoj). The General Conference of 1824 was 
a most important one in the annals of Methodism, but it is 
needless here to enter into any detail of its work. At its 
close our young presiding elder returned as quickly as possi- 
ble to his district. He spent the time in preaching, holding 
camp-meetings, and more thoroughly organizing the v.ork 
on the Forked Deer District. Cheerfully, bravely, con- 
scientiously had he labored in his Lord's vineyard. 



8<S Lll'E OF IIOIIERT rAlNE, D.I). 



CHAPTER V. 

Impkovixg as a Preacher — Makeies Miss Susanna Beck — 
Stationed in Nashville — IIis Work — Presiding Elder — 
College President. 

WE novr see Robert Paine developed into a preacher of 
very high order. He had unction. He had variety. 
He was deeply spiritual, and often tlirillingly eloquent. His 
imagination ^vas capable of the highest, grandest flights. 
It was difficult for him to curb it. Its creations were some- 
times almost bordering on the extravagant, but they startled 
the people by their originality, and moved them by their viv- 
idness. He was even then felt to be the risino; man in the 
Methodist Church. And yet his life was one of the great- 
est self-denial. Well educated, brought up in the best soci- 
ety, with the finest prospects of vrealth and fame, capable of 
distinguishing himself in law or medicine, and of shining in 
politics, he surrendered all to Christ. Like Moses, the serv- 
ant of God, he preferred the reproach of Christ to all the 
honors and treasures that this world could afford. 

At the close of the Conference-year Eobert Paine and 
Susanna Beck were united in the holy bonds of matrimony. 
She was the daughter of John E. Beck, a prominent lawyer 
of Nashville, and a granddaughter of General James Rob- 
ertson, the pioneer of IMiddle Tennessee. I knew her well, 
and can testify to her exalted character. She Avas of hand- 
some person, and in every way attractive. Her manners 
were characterized by great modesty and refinement. She 
was possessed of rare intelligence, and Avas gifted in con- 
versation. She was amiable, prudent, and deeply pious, 
and was a helpmeet to her husband. 



BISIIOr OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 39 

On the 25th day of November, 1824, the Conference 
o]u^nc(l its session at Cohimbia, Tenn. At its close Robert 
Inline was read out fjr Nashville. He entered immediately 
upon his pastorate. He became at once identified with liis 
people. His congregations were the largest that had ever 
attended upon the ministry of a Methodist preacher in that 
young city. His influence constantly increased. He be- 
came a power for good. He was caressed and flattered. 
He continued humble and prayerful. He laid down these 
principles, by which he would govern his conduct and keep 
himself unsoiled: "Be not too familiar with any one. Too 
great intimacy is often injurious. When I feel a Avrong 
spirit rising within me I will be silent. Words are like oil 
on fire. I will never do myself v.hat I condemn in others. 
It is a great shame for a preacher to do what he docs not 
and cannot ajjprove in others. Nothing but grace, grace 
can save my soul." He continued a hard, close student. 
Besides his Bible and theological v.'orks, he studied his- 
tory and astronomy, and employed himself often in compo- 
sition. He was returned to Nashville at the ensuing Con- 
ference. 

During these years A. L. P. Green and John B. McFer- 
rin, together with John M. Holland and G. W. D. Harris, 
had been admitted into the work of the itinerairt ministry. 
IMethodism was on rising ground. Holland became a great 
power, and dying while still in his prime, left an inmiortal 
influence behind him. Harris, too, was a man of grca' 
ability and large influence. He is gone, but his children 
still show the power of religious culture and the lasting infl.u- 
ence of consecrated talents. Gree^n and McFerrin were for 
a long time co-workers in building up the cause of Christ 
in the city of Nashville. While all honor is due to the.30 
noble brethren, and while the venerable IMcFerrin still 
stands solid as a block of granite, sustaining and advancing 



40 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

all the interests of true religion, it is safe to say no man 
ever did more for the cause of God in Nashville than Rob- 
ert Paine. For years after he left the State an appointnient 
for liim to preach would draw larger congregations than 
could be called together by any other man. All honor to 
the Youngs and Kelleys, the Bawries and Hargroves, and 
the rest who have had charge of churches in Nashville, and 
who have helj^ed to make that city a great center of Chris- 
tian influence throughout the land ; but to none of them is 
our holy religion more indebted than to Robert Paine, who 
laid the foundation so deep and strong more than fifty years 
ago. He continued in Nashville as station preacher and pre- 
siding elder of the Nashville District until the Conference 
of 1829, which was held at Huntsville, Ala., in the month 
of November of that year. At that Conference he was ap- 
pointed Superintendent of La Grange College, Alabama. 
He thought it v>'as like Zion, and so wrote, " Beautiful for 
situation, the joy of the whole earth." From the top of 
this mountain was presented one of the most beautiful views 
upon which the eyes ever rested. Stretching along from 
its base, abounding in fertility, in a high state of cultiva- 
tion, and as far as the eye could see, was the magnificent 
Tennessee Valley. The Tennessee River flowed through it 
like a thread of silver, increasing its beauty and adding to 
its fertility. The flourishing town of Huntsville, which has 
always been the pride of North Alabama, was at the eastern 
end, and it extended Avest to the territory then occupied by 
the Indians in North Mississijopi. Tuscumbia, Florence, 
Leighton, and many rich plantations, on which were splen- 
did, mansions, were in full view. At that time the village 
of La Grange had a population of some four hundred peo- 
])le. They were mostly planters who had gone thither for 
health. The Rev. Daniel P. Bester was conducting a flour- 
ishing school for young ladies. The outlook was hopeful. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 41 



The ^vhole scene was inspiring. The young President had 
been nn\vittingly preparing for this very field of hibor. 
During these years of study he had been fitting himself 
for th?s Avork \vitliout ever thinking that he should be 
called aAvay from his regular and loved employ of preach- 
ing the gospel. At Nashville he had become intimately 
associated Avith the Rev. Philip Lindsley, tlie President of 
the University. Appreciating his talents and learning, Dr. 
Lindsley had conferred upon him the degree of A.M., and 
the Trustees had elected him to a place in the Board of 
Trust. So he was not unflimiliar with the method of con- 
ducting colleges. He knew human nature, and was born 
to rule. His excellent practical common sense now stood 
him in hand. Pie had learned to keep books when he was 
a merchant's clerk, and this was of prime importance in 
managing the funds of the institution. His consecrated 
piety ^enabled him to wield a mighty religious influence 
among the boys. Soon there was a great revival. Many 
were the young converts. Collins D. Elliott, the son of an 
itinerant Methodist preacher in Ohio, aided largely in the 
revival. Pie took charge of the young men, and formed 
them into a large college class. Once a week he met his 
class, and soon he became one of the most useful and suc- 
cessful leaders in the Church. He was himself a deeply 
religious young man, and his training at home and at Au- 
gusta College, Kentucky, admirably fitted him for his work. 
Deeply emotional, full of zeal, conscientious, earnest, and 
often powerful in prayer, apt to teach, and giving to each 
member the instruction needed, he made his class-room u 
Bethel— a very house of God— to the young men and boys 
who in such large numbers had embraced the Saviour. 

Soon the Trustees prevailed upon the eflicient Superin- 
tendent to lay aside his modesty and accept the entire sit- 
uation. In this the Faculty fully concurred, and in a year 



42 LIFE OF FvOBERT PAIXE, D.D. 

or two Robert Paine was regularly declared the President 
of La Grange College. In no department of our great 
work is there greater strain upon all the powers of the 
conscientious laborer than in this of education. To Presi- 
dent Paine were committed all the interests of the college. 
It was his business to select instructors, and recommend 
them to the Board. He was to attend to the finances. His 
financial ability was fully brought into requisition, and no- 
bly did he meet his responsibilities. Without one cent of 
endowment, without the necessary buildings, without local 
patronage, and without the appliances and fixtures essential 
to large success, he entered into this work of the Church. 
Pie was an active member of the Board, and urged forvrard 
all those measures that tended to give the institution a char- 
acter which would enable it to increase its patronage and 
extend its influence. In a short time Professor Sims Avas 
called to the chair of Languages in Randolph-Macon Col- 
lege, to the head of which Stephen Olin Avas called. About 
the same time Professor Hudson was elected to the chair of 
Mathematics in the Alabama University. C. D. Elliott 
succeeded Professor Sims, and W. H. Ellison, the son-in-hiAV 
of Dr. Capers, Avas called to the chair of Mathematics. 



BISirOr OF THE M. K. CIIUUCII, SOUTir. 43 



CHAPTER VI. 

Conference at Pulaski, Tennessee — Falling Meteoks — Pkes- 
iDENT OF La Grange College — Gifts and Graces. 

:T was in the fall of 1833 that I first saw President Paine. 
I was attending my first Conference in the town of Pu- 
laski, Giles county, Tenn. I was standing with a few min- 
isters of my class in front of the Methodist Church. One 
of them said, " There they come," meaning the Committee 
of Examination. The chairman of this committee was 
President Paine. He was then in the prime of manhood, 
just thirty-four years old. His movements were the per- 
fection of ease and grace. His form was so faultless that it 
would have served as a model for the Apollo Belvedere. 
He was in j)erfect health. His ample forehead, broad and 
high, and then without a wrinkle, indicated the placidity 
of his temper and the might and energy of his powerful 
brain. His large dark eyes expressed so much of genius, 
intelligence, and jorinciple as to impress most deejily even 
the most casual observer. His mouth indicated firmness, 
and the whole contour of his features impressed me that I 
was in the presence of a man of exalted character. 

It was during this Conference, on the nights of Tuesday 
and Wednesday, that the memorable meteoric shower cc- 
currcd, which is regarded as the most magnificent on rec- 
ord. It was a grand sight. All the stars of heaven seemed 
to be falling. Many were terrified, and thought the day of 
judgment at hand. Some wept and others shouted. oNIany 
prayed, and made wonderful confessions of sins committed. 
President Paine looked upon the scene with rapt attention, 
and with the admiration of the Christian and the scholar. 



44 LIFE OF PvOBERT PAINE, D.D. 

He had just been reading the account of a similar shower 
on the 12th and 13th of November, 1799, the night before 
his ovrn birth. The next morning, before the beginning of 
Conference, he was quieting all our fears by an explanation 
of the occurrence and by reference to these former showers 
of which he had been very recently reading. I looked up 
to him then as far above ordinary men, and as capable of 
accomplishing the greatest human results. At as early a 
day as possible I sought his counsel as to the propriety of 
my going to college. He was exceedingly cautious. He 
hesitated to advise me. He spoke of the advantages of a 
college education, yet would he in no case interfere with 
conscience. He therefore threw the responsibility upon me. 
I was still a beardless bo5^ My father anxiously desired to 
give me a classical education. I had promised him before 
leaving home to do as he wished. I felt bound to keep this 
promise, and therefore made my arrangem^ents to enter at 
once upon my studies. I so informed Mr. Paine, and he 
cordially invited me to come as soon as possible, and to come 
direct to his house. I cm never forget the Monday after- 
noon when I arrived at the college. I was in a sad plight. 
I had been five days going one hundred and fifty miles. I 
was worn and travel-stained. I had walked through the 
mud and water for nearly ten miles. The President was 
standing on the platform in front of the college chapel. 
The boys were scattered over the campus. They were in 
high glee, as the exercises were just closed, and for a time 
they were free. They did not meet my ideal of college stu- 
dents. They made the eamjnts ring with their shouts. The 
President turned to me, and said : " Boys will be boys ; we 
do not expect them to be saints." I have been reminded a 
thousand times of this utterance. It illustrated his sympa- 
thy with boyhood. It showed his knowledge of human 
nature. It gave me an insight into his management of his 



BTSIIOr OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 45 

boys, and revealed to some extent the secret of his power 
over them. He did not attempt impossibilities. He did 
not interfere with the innocent hilarity of youth. At the 
right time he delighted in innocent mirth. His religion 
never assumed the form of sour godliness. The play of 
■wit, the sense of the ridiculous, the enjoyment of humor, all 
accompanied by the hearty laugh, were altogether compat- 
ible with his notions of piety. While he set himself as a 
flint against all forms of vice, and held with a firm, steady 
hand the reins of college government, he encouraged all 
innocent amusements and healthful gymnastic exercises. 
He was himself exceedingly swift of foot, and could excel 
in many feats of agility. Against every form of vice 
he brought all the power of his great character. The se- 
verest irony and the sharpest wit Avhen used by him would 
often make the guilty boy writhe in agony. His denun- 
ciation of vice in all its forms was the most scathing I 
ever witnessed. S'.ame, remorse, anger, pride would by 
turns rise up, and one or the other would almost compel 
confession. Still he was patient and forbearing. He was 
seeking reformation, and to this end his versatile powers 
were all employed. College life was always irksome to 
him. He greatly preferred the work of the pastorate. His 
preaching was aflected by this radical change. His taste 
became more exacting. He hesitated between the different 
words which presented themselves to his choice. The hesi- 
tation seemed to proceed from an entire loss of words. This 
was not true. Often, as he has told me, a half dozen words 
would present themselves, and as he desired to use the best 
he would hesitate and seem confused. The hesitation was 
often embarrassing, especially to his friends, who knew his 
great powers as a sacred orator. During these years, when 
the least was expected, he made some of his grandest efforts. 
I recall a night in the college chapel when the Faculty Of the 



46 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

college and the students were almost tlic only hearers. 
He was thoroughly himself. His thoughts, original and 
stirring, were expressed in the purest English and with 
faultless taste. His imagination seemed roused to its grand- 
est creations. His feelings were all aglow, and he made an 
appeal in behalf of our holy religion Avhich moved that little 
audience as I have seldom seen an audience moved. When 
we came out. Professor Ellison said to me : " Did you ever 
listen to any thing equal to that? That effort would have 
graced any occasion and gratified any audience. I wrote to 
Dr. Capers a fcAv days ago, and told him that the Church 
at large did not know the wonderful power of President 
Paine. Not at Conference before a large audience, not upon 
any great occasion, but here at home, with not more than 
one hundred listeners, he made efforts which I have never 
heard surpassed." He then went on to compare him with 
those great preachers Drs. Capers and Pierce, and said, 
" Paine is the equal of any." The boys were proud of him, 
and, as college boys will do, when out of his hearing called 
him by the familar name of " Old Bob." Old Bob, they 
said, "could outpreach anybody." In the fall of 1833 the 
Rev. John C. Burruss came on a visit from Mississippi, and 
attracted great attention as a most charming preacher. At 
the Mountain Spring Camp-meeting, held near Courtland, 
many of the college boys were present. The sermon of 
Brother Burruss made a most powerful impression and ex- 
cited universal admiration. He had a sweet, musical voice, 
and was a word-painter of wonderful artistic skill. He was 
an elegant Virginian, a gentleman of the old school. His 
gestures were graceful, his articulation distinct, his pronun- 
ciation accurate, and his emphasis tasteful and impressive. 
Then he added to all this manners the most graceful and 
courtly. His manners would have given him eclat in any 
of the halls of royalty in the courts of Europe. North 



BISITOP OF THE IVF. E. CIIUECIT, SOUTH. 47 

Alabama Avas at ^liat time the center of refinement. Court- 
land espceially boasted of elegant culture, and .dr. Burruss 
"was the admired of all. So ])opular was liis preaching that 
the boys became alarmed. They begun to dread a rival to 
"Old Bob." Sunday came. The day was all that could 
be desired. The audienc'e was one of the largest ever as- 
sembled in North Alabama. As usual in those days, two 
sermons were to be delivered at the noon service. Brother 
Burruss Avas to preach first. He never appeared to better 
advantage. He was about forty-five years of age, and at 
the zenith of his glory. He seldom made a failure, and on 
this occasion his effort was equal to his best. The graces of 
oratory were never exhibited before a more appreciative au- 
dience. He ceased while the charms of the most beautiful 
word-painting and the softest and tendercst appeals in behalf 
of the cross of Christ were telling largely upon a deeply 
interested audience. President Paine was to follow. His 
text -STOS, " Why stand ye here all the day idle?" The ser- 
mon of the gifted Burruss had aroused Paine, and fully pre- 
pared him to do his best. He seemed to be clothed with 
supernatural power and to come with all the authority of 
of an embassador of Christ. His credentials from the court 
of heaven could not have been more clearly read had they 
been written in letters of gold. His caustic satire and ve- 
hement invective presented to that congregation idleness in 
a new light. That which had formerly seemed altogether 
negative in its character now appeared as a sin of high 
magnitude. Idleness was portrayed as a sin against self, 
against society, against the Church, and above all against 
God. There was dignity in labor, and glory in the work 
of Christ. To labor in his vineyard was man's highest 
honor. To neglect it was the blight of all progress and the 
ruin of the soul. Then with a voice like a trumpet, and 
with an intensity of earnestness worthy of an ai)ostle, he 



48 LIFE OF ROBERT TAINE, D.D. 

invited, lie called with all the authority of liis divine mission : 
"Go work in God's vineyard. Go icorh to-day. To post- 
pone is ruin, to neglect is death ! " A most profound impres- 
sion was produced. He had equaled his grandest efforts. 
He knew nothing of rivalry. He was above that, and so 
was his great and good friend Mr. Burruss. The success 
of one was the triumph of the other. I have given this 
incident largely for the purpose of impressing this gener- 
ous and noble Christian spirit upon the preachers of this 
day. Let there be no ungenerous, unchristian rivalry, but 
as in the case of the now sainted Burruss and Paine, let the 
success of one be the triumph of the other. No man was 
louder in his praise than was the noble Virginian. The boys 
were in ecstasy, and declared that such a sermon was never 
preached before. 



r.isiTor OK THE m. k. ciiukcii, south. 49 



CHAPTER VM. 

Studying Among the Kocks — (College Life— Teaching — 
KiGiD Requirements— Dangers — Courage. 

IN tlic meantime the college continued to increase its i)at- 
ronage and to gain influence. The President had the 
de;iartment of jMoral Science. He also taught geology and 
mineralogy. He had a fine opi)ortunity for the study of 
geology, and he industriously ayailed himself of it. He 
spent much time in the gorges of the mountain. He went, 
like Huirh ]Miller, ^vith his hammer in hand, breakins: the 
rocks and studying their composition. He penetrated into 
the deep, dark cayerns, and brought out many beautiful 
specimens. Fifty years ago he declared that iron and coal 
in great abundance yrould be found in the mountains of 
North Alabama. He became a practical geologist, ahead 
of most men of his day. At one time he spent twenty-four 
hours without sleep in a caye near Tuscumbia, Ala., at 
least one hundred feet below the surface. The density of 
the atmosphere enabled him to endure and perform all this. 
In his own department he studied Butler, Ileid, Brown, 
Stewart, Abercrombie, Say, Blair, Campbell, Alexander, and 
Paley, and others. He was unequalcd in the lecture-room. 
Sometimes he would hesitate, and seem to be at a loss, while 
at others he would be sublimely eloquent, and fill the ideal of 
a great professor. At one time he would abound in illustra- 
tions — unique, original, beautiful, and thro\Ying the clearest 
light upon the most obscure subjects; at another, "he wou.ld 
ask a few leading questions, and, without requiring or giying 
any full analysis of the lesson, would dismiss the class. He 
4 



50 LIFE OF ROBERT PAIXE, D.D. 

required of my class a most rigid and thorough Avritten 
analysis of Campbell's Philosophy of Rhetoric. This Avas 
the greatest task of our college life, and possibly the most 
profitable. 

At the close of 1835 the health of Mrs. Paine began to 
fail. The disease was of the lungs. With his invalid Avife 
he spent the Avinter in Louisiana at the home of her father, 
Mr. Craighead. She never returned to La Grange. I had 
been the inmate of the family for months. She was a model 
woman, and always treated me as a younger brother. She 
died at her old home in Nashville, among dear friends and 
in full hope of a blissful immortality. She was courageous 
to the last, and insisted that her husband should attend the 
commencement of the college in June, 1836. She knew 
her end was near, but felt that she would survive until his 
return. He left La Grange about the 9th of June, 1836, 
and arrived at Nashville just a few days before she entered 
into rest. Her funeral-sermon Avas preached by his friend 
Dr. J. B. McFerrin. She left two sons, John E. Beck and 
James S. • They were bright and promising boys, and were 
almost too young to feel the loss of their noble mother. 
They both grew to be men. John studied medicine, and 
died just in the prime of young manhood, and just as he 
was entering upon a most useful career. James is still liv- 
ing. At the opening of the session in September, President 
Paine was at his post lonely and sad. The wife of his youth 
had been taken, and although not a demonstrative man, he 
showed in all his walk and conversation that he was indeed 
bereaved. At the same time he was faithful and diligent 
in the discharge of all his duties. 

In the winter of 1836-37 Professor Ellison resigned. Pie 
was a noble specimen of manhood. For years he had filled 
his chair with great acceptability and usefulness. His stern, 
inflexible integrity deeply impressed itself upon the young 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 51 

men of the college. Professor Collins D. Elliott avus trans- 
ferred to the vacant chair, and the writer was elected Pro- 
fessor of Latin and Greek. At the same time Dr. Thomas 
Barbour was elected Professor of Chemistry, and Henry 
iSIasson, from Paris, France, was chosen Professor of Modern 
Languages. Dr. Barbour Avas the son of the Hon. Philip 
P. Barbour, of Virginia, who was one of the Judges of the 
Supreme Court of the United States. The new professor 
was a highly educated physician, and gave great satisfaction 
to the students and Faculty of the college. It was in his 
family that President Paine found a home for himself and 
his two little boys. Mrs. Barbour did all in her power to al- 
leviate their great sorrow. She was a beautiful Christian char- 
acter, and acted the part of a loving sister to the bereaved 
husband, and sought to be a mother to his two motherless chil- 
dren. The President could not have had more jDleasant as- 
sociations in those sad and lonely hours following the death 
of his precious wife. 

He was blessed too with a loyal Faculty. They were all 
men selected by himself, and were ready to give him their 
unanimous support in the administration of the college. 
Professor Elliott had shown himself the able professor in 
the department of Ancient Languages; he now gave him- 
self with all his energies to the professorship of Mathemat- 
ics. He was the close, earnest, fiiithful student. He gave 
not more than seven hours to sleep and recreation. He 
spent the remainder of the twenty-four hours in earnest 
preparation for his great work and in doing that work. 
He was seldom or never absent. He was a model of punc- 
tuality and fidelity. 

Soon after the organization of the new Faculty in the 
spring of 1837, a sad occurrence threatened the best inter- 
ests of the college. In the heat of excitement one student 
killed another. They both belonged to excellent families. 



52 LIFE OF FwOEEPvT PAINE, D.D. 

and of course both liad their friends. A fearful o-looni luui": 
over the college. The students were terribly aroused. It 
required all the prudence of the Faculty, added to the well- 
known joopularity of the President, to prevent permanent 
disaster. The disaster was arrested, however, and in a short 
time all was going on as usual. The power and influence 
of President Paine were never more severely tried than 
during these dark days. He stood the test and bore him- 
self with such prudence as not only to retain but to increase 
his popularity. His conduct was approved heartily by the 
friends of the boy who was killed, and he ever after received 
the sincere gratitude of the friends of the unfortunate youth 
whose dagger had pierced the heart of his fellow-student. 

It is not often that a man can joass unscathed through an 
ordeal so trying as was this. It was, however, in the fall of 
the year 1837 that difficulties arose in the absence of the 
President which amounted to a rebellion. Uj)on his return 
to the college, he found some half dozen suspended students 
armed and threatening destruction to the college and death 
to several members of the Faculty. It was feared they would 
])urn the college. Of course they had their friends among 
the students; consequently there were two j^arties. One, 
and the smaller party, for the Faculty, and ready to stand 
up for law and order ; the other sympathizing Avith the sus- 
pended students. Again and again was attack threatened 
and fully expected. Once a violent youth presented a pis- 
tol right in front of the President and aiming at his heart. 
All the manhood of President Paine was aroused. Rising 
to his full height, without the quailing of a nerve and with 
the authority of " right which makes might," he said, " Put 
down that pistol!" The pistol dropped, and the defiant 
hand hung limp and powerless by the side of the intimi- 
dated and trembling youth. It was soon found that the 
inspiration came upon these rebellious students from a very 



BISHOP OF THE ?.r. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 53 

had man ^vho kept tlic village hotel. Consequently the 
students Averc forbidden to have intercourse with him, or 
even to enter his hotel. This aroused the demon in the 
hotel-keeper, Avhose name was IMcCaleb, and he threatened 
death to the President. At the same time he had a diffi- 
culty with a IMr. White, who was an excellent citizen and 
a good friend to IMr. Paine. Mr. V/hite had business in 
Columbus, Miss., and started there in November, 1837 or 
1838, on horseback. He was pursued by McCaleb on the 
fleetest horse to be obtained in the country. When Vv'^hite 
had reached a few miles out from Columbus, on his return 
home, he Avas met by McCaleb and shot through the head. 
The murderer was so close to his victim that the hair and 
head were burned by the explosion. McCaleb turned from 
the road, went through the forest, and through a boggy swamp 
that was never known to be crossed before by any living 
being, and had always been regarded as impassable. He 
was never found. It was soon reported that he was hiding 
in the gorges of the mountain, and seeking an opportunity to 
commit another murder. This time INIr. Paine was to be 
the victim. His friends were alarmed. I\IcCaleb was known 
to have threatened his life, and as he had murdered Mr. 
White in cold blood, and was a most desperate man, we 
had our fears for the safety of our beloved President. 
During all this time the man for whom such anxiety was 
felt was as free from excitement as though no threat had 
been made and no danger was to be apprehended. Cool 
and self-poised, he never bore himself with more dig- 
nity, never seemed freer from all trepidation. His home 
was then one mile from the college, and there were many 
places along this mountainous pathway in which a cold- 
blooded assassin might hide, and from which he might ac- 
complish his deadly purpose. I was with him almost daily, 
and talked with hira freely, and he told me invariably that 



54 LIFE OF ROBERT RAINE, D.D. 

the emotion of fear had never been felt by him, and that he 
was never more quiet or trustfid than during all this excite- 
ment among his friends. The boys were subdued, and Mc- 
Caleb never returned. 

I have detailed these facts to show a trait of character 
which would have fitted him to command an army. He 
had the highest courage. He never lost his j)resence of 
mind in the midst of danger. He was the stuff of which 
martyrs are made. Moral courage, as free from rashness on 
the one hand as from cowardice on the other, was one of 
the great features of his exalted character. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 55 



CHAPTER Vlll. 

Unselfishness — Courage — Sorrow. 

AjNIONG tlic strong traits of character Avliich exercised a 
more than usual influence among the ,students "svas his 
unselfish devotion to them and their l)est interests. lie ex- 
hibited this devotion whenever occasion called for it. In 
the fall of 1834 or 1835 there was held a camp-meeting at 
Spring Creek, between La Grange and Tuscumbia. It was 
just at the beginning of the great abolition excitement, 
which afterward culminated in the terrible civil war and 
in the final extinction of slavery. A young Methodist 
preacher, a student of the college, was appointed on Sat- 
urday to preach. His theme was the unsatisfying nature 
of all earthly things. In the discussion he attempted to 
show that satisfaction could be found alone in the religion 
of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the absence of religion there 
v»'as always unrest. The peo^^le might be ignorant or intelli- 
gent, in a high or low state of civilization, might belong to 
any class or race, Caucasian or African, and without relig- 
ion there was no i:>eace, no rest, no satisfaction. He illus- 
trated this truth by reference to the unsettled state of Eu- 
rope at the very time at which he was speaking. He also 
instanced iiLsurrections among the slaves in Virginia. Man 
without religion cannot be happy. Witliout it he is like the 
spirit wandering, seeking rest and finding none. The utter- 
ance of the youth produced the greatest excitement. He 
was denounced as an abolitionist, and threatened v.itli Lynch 
law. Word was sent to his presiding elder that he must not 
appoint the young man to preach — that he should not preach 



.66 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

there again. He was kept in entire ignorance of the excite- 
ment until the storm was ready to burst upon him. The 
presiding elder and other older ministers decided he should 
preach. President Paine came to him and said: "I know 
that you did not mean to stir up the negroes, but some of 
the people believe you did. Your remarks, in a most ex- 
aggerated form, were carried to Tuscumbia last night, and 
men are liere to-day who say you shall not preach, and if 
you attempt to, they are ready to do you violence. You 
have friends here who will stand by you. It is, however, 
prudent, and will be for the best, that you make an expla- 
nation and tell the people that nothing was farther from your 
intention than to produce any such results as are now feared." 
The young minister told him that he vrould m.ake any ex- 
planation that he might think necessary, though he had not 
the least fear of danger. Accordingly at eleven o'clock, be- 
fore at least two thousand people, the poor innocent boy 
arose to make the explanation. jNIen were standing in 
threatening mood all around. He simply, said that his 
remarks had been strangely misunderstood, and tliat he 
had never thought of producing any stir among the ne- 
groes, and that nothing Avas farther from his thoughts than 
an insurrection, and that he would deprecate such insurrec- 
tion as much as any man who condemned his remarks. He 
did not occupy five minutes in his explanation. He retracted 
nothing. He expressed no regrets, and asked no pardon. He 
sat down amid looks v/hich foreboded any thing but good. 
President Paine arose. He neve]- in all his life appeared to 
better advantage. His dark eyes flashed. His features 
were all aglow. Determination, courage, and perfect fear- 
lessness characterized his whole manner. He said tluit he 
had listened to the sermon. " The excitement was as unjust 
as it was unfounded. Nothing had been said to produce it. 
A man that Avould stir wj an insurrection among the happy 



Kisnop OF THE M. E. CHURCH, south. 57 



and contented slaves in that peaceful valley would be little 
less than a fiend, and would deserve universal execration. 
My young friend does not belong to that class. He is a 
born Southerner. His fatlier owned slaves, and lie was 
born and reared among them. He would do them no 
harm. He would do you none. He is free from all bUime, 
and must not be hurt. He has friends here strong, honor- 
able, and true. You can inflict no Lynch law upon him. 
I ^^ill head the company of brave men who will see that 
not one hair of his head is touched." His courage never 
shone more conspicuously than on that occasion. His pu- 
pil, whom he knew vrell, had unwittingly aroused feelings 
against himself at once violent and unjust. The President 
at once placed himself in the front, and was ready to do or 
die in the defense of right. At first his remarks fell on 
unwilling ears. Some cried, " Take him out ! " " Stop him ! " 
But he kept on until the universal hush indicated that he 
had gained his point and vras master of the situation. Pie 
ruled the storm. He quelled the mob. Like the great 
man that he was, he remained strong and firm, command- 
ing the feelings, breaking down the spirit of the mob, sub- 
duing a very excited multitude, and rising in the estimation 
of all. The religious services immediately followed — songs 
and prayers, sermons and exhortations, until the religious 
excitement overcame all other feelings except with a very 
few " lewd fellows of the baser sort." 

The Rev. Alexander Sale preached one of his strongest 
sermons, and many were at the altar for the prayers of the 
Church. At three o'clock the Rev. F. A. Owen, who was 
the presiding elder, insisted that the young preacher should 
again occupy the pulpit. So without molestation the work 
went on. Many were converted. So bright and happy 
were many of those conversions, and so sincere and earnest 
were the cries for mercy, that a saintly wonuin who was 



58 LIFE OF PvOBEPtT FAINE, D.D. 

called on to pray commenced the prayer "with these re- 
markable words: "O Lord, but for the sobs of grief 
which come from these dear penitents, we could almost 
believe we had crossed over the river and were now for- 
ever beyond any more suffering and sorrov,\" So ended, 
in songs of peace and prayers full of love and faith, an 
excitement which, but for his decision of character and 
magnetic power over congregations, might have ended 
in a most horrible manner. He v^-as the bow^ of peace 
spanning the cloud. He showed that he knew the right, 
and dared maintain it. The mutterino;s of wrath did not 
alarm him. He did his duty, and left the result with his 
God. I need only add that the boy-preacher is the writer 
of these pages. He passed through the storm without 
knowing its violence until it was spent. The brave and 
generous C. D. Elliott, now of Nashville, Tenn., stood by 
the President, and firmly sustained his young friend and 
pupil. He awoke within him then and there a feeling of 
gratitude which fifty years have not extinguished. Col. R. 
A. Baker, Major John Cockrill, and others, stood by the 
young preacher then, and remained true till death. 



jifsiiop OF THE M. E. ciiURcn, SOUTH. 59 



CHAPTER IX. 

Second Marriage— Death— C; kief — Eevival — ^Marriage to 
Miss Mary Eliza Millwater — Family. 

IT -was during tlie year 1837 that he "was united in mar- 
riage to his second Avife, Miss Amanda Shaw, the daughter 
of a Presbyterian minister in Columbia, Tennessee. She 
was worthy of him, and made his home ever so happy for a 
few short months. She died without issue. Her death was 
universally lamented. Her funeral -sermon was preached 
by the Rev. Alexander Sale, and she was buried in the little 
cemetery in the mountain. The first Mrs. Wadsworth and 
President J. W. Hardy both sleep near her. 

Often during these sad years he seemed almost inspired 
while delivering his lectures to his class. Once in 1839 he 
was lecturing the senior class on the Evidences of Chris- 
tianity. He attacked Hume with arguments at once terse, 
strong, and unanswerable. He opposed his errors with all 
the power of inexorable logic, and then employed his own 
inimitable satire and blighting sarcasm with powerful effect. 
Then he appealed to conscience in a manner at once so 
sincere, so tendei', and so touching as to move some of the 
class to tears. He told me himself that in all his career as 
an instructor he had never seen such visible manifestations 
of the power of truth. To the minds of the intelligent ckiss 
the boasted argument of Hume was the merest begging of 
the question, and the great philosopher, like a stranded 
ship, was left to sink in the muddy waters of the foulest 
error. Conviction affecting reason and conscience was pro- 
duced, and it expressed itself in the pallid countenance and 
tearful eye, and after awhile in the earnest prayer of peni- 



CO LIFE OF r.OEERT TAINE, D.D. 

tence, which vras follov.'cd by the sound conversion and the 
shout of praise. 

From that lecture a revival spread through the college. 
Nearly every student was moved. It embraced every class 
and almost every individual. I do not think there Avere 
more than six in the college who remained unconverted. 
Along the slopes of the mountain, in the rooms of the stu- 
dents, on the way to the church and vrhen returning from 
it, in the chapel and in the recitation-roomys, the work of 
Divine grace v;as manifested. I have seen the President 
and other members of the Faculty — ministers — arise in the 
pulpit, intending to preach or exhort, and begin first to give 
out an appropriate hymn, and fifteen or twenty would rush 
up and kneel at the altar. Nothing could be heard but the 
cries of penitents and the shouts of those who had been -con- 
verted. Such scenes I have never witnessed before or since. 
It lasted for m.onths. Young converts would lead the 
prayer-meetings ; not one ever refused to pray when called 
on. There are numbers in heaven to-day the fruits of that 
revival. The college became vocal with praises. By night 
and by day the work progressed. Its good effects were seen 
for years in the college, and its fruits have been felt in the 
pulpits of the different churches occupied by pastors' con- 
verted during that revival. President Paine always loved 
to recur to that powerful work of God because its first mani- 
festations were so clearly the result of an appeal to the 
reason. 

In November, 1839, the Rev. Robert Paine was united 
in marriage to Miss Mary Eliza Millwater, the daughter of 
Mrs. Turner Saunders by her first marriage. Miss IMill- 
water was much younger than her husband, but was well 
fitted to be his wife. She was modest, amiable, sensible, and 
pious. jNIrs. Saunders possessed the highest qualifications 
of a wife and mother, and was remarkable for her case and 



BISHOP OF THE ^r. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 61 

elegance in refined society, and her unostentiitioiis devotion 
to our holy religion. Herself the wife of a minister, she 
rejoiced in this union of her daughter to this distinguished 
minister and future Bishop of the Church. 

It is very seldom that a happier marriage occurs. F(U' 
forty-three years they walked together and were fully 
"agreed." To them were born four sous and three daugh- 
ters. The sons Avere Robert, now living in Aberdeen ; John 
Emory, who studied medicine, graduated with distinction, 
and died young; George W., now attorney at law and living 
in Aberdeen, recently married to a granddaughter of Dr. 
A. L. P. Green, in Nashville, Teun. The youngest. Dr. 
William, unmarried, and lives with his mother in Aberdeen, 
practicing his profession. The daughters are Sarah Felix, 
married Mr, P. Hamilton, and also lives in Aberdeen; 
Ludie, married Rev. John H. Scruggs, of the Xorth Missis- 
sippi Conference, and at this writing is staticmed in Colum- 
bus, Miss. ; and Mary, who married Mr. Wendell, now rc- 
sidins: in Tunica countv, Miss. 



62 LIFE OF EGBERT TATXE, D.D. 



CHAPTER X. 

Professor Tutwiler — Honors — Agents. 

IN the year 1840, Prof. Henry Tutwiler became a member 
of the Faculty. He was the selection of the President. 
Professors Elliott and Barbonr had both resigned and Pro- 
fessor Tutwiler was to fill the chairs — Mathematics and 
Chemistry. A more fortunate selection could not have 
been made. He was thoroughly "furnished" for both 
dej^artments. A graduate of the University of Virginia, 
he fully sustained the high character of that institution. 
He was a profound and rich linguist, a thorough mathe- 
matician, and a superior chemist. He was learned without 
pedantry, pious without bigotry, a gentleman without a 
blemish, a character without a flaw. He gave the full 
weight of his great character to aid the President and his 
associates of the Faculty in building up the college, increas- 
ing its patronage, and enlarging its influence. He continued 
in the institution until his friend and colleague was elected 
and ordained Bishop in the Church. 

In the year 1842 the degree of Doctor of Divinity was 
conferred uj^on President Paine. It came from the Wes- 
leyan University, Middletown, Conn. ; and Dr. Nathan 
Bangs was the President, and announced the fact in a 
characteristic letter to his old friend, with whom he had 
served often in the General Conference, as follows: 

Middletown, Conn., Aug. G, 1842. 

Mij Dear Brotlm-: Agreeably to a resolution of the .Joint Board 

of the AVesleyan University, the degree D.D. was conferred on yon 

at our late commencement, and your diploma is now filled and signed. 

I know not, however, how to send it to you; but if you have an op- 



BISIIOr OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 63 

portunity to send for it by the persons calling on me, or, if I slionkl 
be absent (as I exi)ect to leave here), on Professor Smith, it can be 
obtninecl. 

Wishing you all temporal and spiritual blessings and much pros- 
])erity in your work, I remain yours aflectionately, N. Bangs. 

Eev. Robert Paine. 

This degree ^vas very unexpected by the President, At 
that time there were hardly a dozen doctors of divinity 
in the Methodist Church. Doctors Bangs, Olin, Durbin, 
Capers, Fisk, and a few others, made up the Avhole number. 
Now they are numbered by the hundred ; then hardly by 
the score. Dr. Paine literally blushed beneath his honors. 
He was unwilling to be called Doctor. His modesty was 
as shrinking as his merit was great. He neither desired 
nor sought any worldly glory. He preferred to be called 
Brother Paine, or plain Mr. Paine. Merit, real merit, is 
nearly always modest. It was especially so in his case. I 
never knew Dr. Paine to boast of any act of his life. He 
shrunk from applause.. He published but few of his ser- 
mons. His splendid baccalaureate addresses seldom saw the 
light. He presided over the college for more than sixteen 
years, and delivered to each graduating class an address 
worthy of preservation, and many of them of rare excel- 
lence, and during all that time I think he suffered but two 
to go to press. He seldom spoke of his own efforts, and 
never in a laudatory manner. In the early history of the 
college, when he had but few advanced students, he wrote 
many speeches to be delivered on commencement occasions. 
These speeches embraced almost every variety of compo- 
sition. They were witty, humorous, satirical, moral, phil- 
osophical, and religious, by turns. When the address was 
announced, he simply said, "Written for the occasion." 
They exhibited the greatest versatility of both tact and tal- 
ent, and added largely to the interest of commencement- 
week. Only a few knew that he was the author. I liavc 



64 LIFE OF ROBERT RAINE, D.D. 

often lamented the loss of these productions. Published, 
they would have placed him among the keenest satirists of 
the age. Against jwpular vices he was intensely severe, 
whilst follies, "humbugs," etc., he laid on in such a manner 
as to make them thoroughly ludicrous and provoke uni- 
versal mirth and laughter. Had he been ambitious of fame 
in this direction, he might have placed his name along-side 
those of Juvenal and Horace as a satirist. He always seemed 
to me to shun rather than court praise, to decline rather 
than seek honors. He had now received, without seeking 
cither directly or indirectly, the degree of Master of Arts 
from the University of Kashville, and of Doctor of Divinity 
from the Wecdeyan University. He had fairly " won his 
spurs," but was almost too modest to wear them, and pre- 
ferred always to conceal them from public view. 

It may not be amiss, before leaving the college to which 
he gave so many years of his valuable life, to present to the 
reader the men whom he selected as agents to solicit and 
collect money for building and endowing the institution. 
Among the earliest was Kev. William McjMahon. He was 
in many respects one of the first men in the Conference. 
He was a fine financier, a good manager of men, a superior 
preacher, and possessed of great energy and perseverance in 
any good cause. He was devoted to Methodism and to 
IMethodist education. He loved North Alabama, and La 
Graniji-e was the brio-htcst crown of North Alabama Method- 
ism. Dr. oNIcMahon secured some money and was well re- 
ceived in Georgia, and obtained partial cooperation from the 
IMethodists of that great State. La Grange, however, was 
soon found to be too remote, and the means of access were 
then too difficult, to allow of any continued patronage. In 
a few years Emory College began its useful career. It was 
tlie object of President Paine to have the cooperation of all 
the Southern Conferences, and make La Grange a great cen- 



lilSIIor Ol- TIIR M. K. CIIUKCir, SOUTH. 



65 



tor attracting its pupils l)y the lumclrcls -.xnA Iron, a niuto.l 
Soutl. Had he succeeded in thi., he would have accm- 
plished nuK-h nK.re than he did. As it «as, the Centenary 
College in Mi.si..ippi,and the school first at Coyinsto.gnd 
then at Oxford, Ga., now Emory CoUesc taught lunWha 
the concentration of a united South upon La Grange would 

be impossible. , . i • ti, * 

John B. McFerrin was also employed in his youth to 
plead the cause of the college before the Jlethodists of fen- 
nessee. He was then a strong man, au,l in the vigor of a 
robust young manhood. He did what he could, but was not 
satisfied to give his youthful vigor to begging money for the 
eolleae He, however, learned well the art of begging, and 
became almost irresistible inthat department of our work. 
If the man lives who can invent more arguments, or exhibit 
more tact, or make stronger appeals in behalf of any great 
benevolent enterprise than Dr. John B. McFerrin, I have 
never known him. He was trammeled in this agency by 
some resolution of Conference retiuiriug that he shou d not 
a* for large sums. He wanted no bands on his free limte 
and after a year's toil, not altogether fruitless, he returned 

to the pastorate. 

I must not omit the Rev. Littleton Fowler, who became 
a most successful agent, and served the college until he was 
sent as a missionary to Texas to supply the place made 
vacant by the death of Dr. Martin Ruter. At one time it 
was thought that he would be able to secure ample endow- 
ment for the college. He was a fine specimen of the Ken- 
tucky Methodist preacher, and both as a man and as a 
preacher deserved the highest respect and the largest con- 

' Pretident Paine went also into the local ranks, and found 
the Rev. Simpson Shepherd and secured his services as 
agent for the college. Mr. Shepherd was a warm-hearted 
5 



QQ LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

Irishman of iiiagnificent j^resence. Among a thousand men 
he Avoiild be pointed out as a leading character. Then, he 
was an eloquent preacher and superior to most men on the 
platform. His rich Irish brogue added to the force of \vell- 
clioMi language and to the power of a voice of unusual 
compass, tone, and strength. He did active and successful 
service for years for the college. Among the most success- 
ful of the agents employed by President Paine was the Rev. 
J. W. Hanner. As a preacher he had no superior in the 
Tennessee Conference. Dr. Hanner traveled extensively 
over Alabama. He was unremittins- in his toil, and self- 
denying to an unusual extent. He preached, he visited, he 
made private appeals, he delivered public addresses, and by 
every means in his power sought to do the work of a master- 
workman. At the time of his employment as a college 
agent, John W. Hanner would have been acceptable in any 
pulpit — welcome to any city church in the Connection. 

These were some of the men selected by President Paine 
and employed by the Trustees to aid him in the difficult 
task of building up La Grange College. That the col- 
lege wa.s not endowed was his misfortune, but not his 
fault. It commenced its career without endowment and 
without buildings. To succeed, buildings must be erected, 
and a Faculty equal to the best must be engaged. The 
tuition fees were not at all equal to the support of six pro- 
fessors. To pay the professors, agents had to collect from 
two to three thousand dollars a year. This, added to the 
tuition fees, would give a support by no means liberal to the 
Faculty. At one time I knew the President to give of his 
salary one thousand dollars in order to save the college. 
He did this voluntarily for years. That is to say, his salary 
was eighteen hundred dollars, and he voluntarily reduced it 
to eight hundred dollars a year, and thus saved the insti- 
tution. Other officers imitated his generous sacrifice and 



BISHOP OP THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 



67 



foUowod hi. oxa.nplc. lu this way, and m th,s uay alone, 
the college could have been preserved and continued on its 
career of usefulness. I doubt ^vhether the annals of any 
college ^vill show greater sacrifice than was shown ni th.s 
one act of its devoted President. I was a member of the 
Facultv at the time, and was deeply impressed by his man- 
ner when he came to me with the proposition, and felt that 
he deserved all the confidence and the honor which he en- 
ioved. His sacrifice of one thousand dollars a year, an<l 
thereby securing a sacrifice of two or three hundred from 
each member of the Faculty, seems to me now as one ot 
the noblest acts of a noble life, and one rarely equaled m 
the history of colleges. Besides making this sacrifice, he 
gave as libcrallv as any other man to the institution. By 
tmploving the best agents to be found, either in the Confer- 
ence or out of it, by securing the best talents in the Facultj 
and visiting the Legislature again and again, by labor and 
self-denial he labored to give to the Chnrch and to the 
country an institution of learning which he hoped would 
be perpetual. Was all his labor lost? We will see. 



QS LIFE OF r.OBERT FAINE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XI. 

Carlos (i. Smith — College Life Closing — Work 
Accomplished. 

IN the year 1843 I was called to the presidency of a new 
enterprise — a school for young ladies at Athens, Ala. 
Dr. Carlos G. Smith was elected my successor as Professor 
of Languages in La Grange College. A wiser selection 
could not have been made. Dr. Smith entered upon his 
duties in September, 1843. He soon proved himself a mas- 
ter-workman that needed not to be ashamed. He was an ac- 
complished scholar and an elegant Christian gentleman, 
and did faithful service to the college. The college was 
possibly never better manned than at this time. It com- 
manded wide and universal respect. For years it kept 
along-side of the best institutions of the country. The 
time was raj)idly approaching when its laborious and 
gifted President was to be called to a more responsible po- 
sition in the Church, and a much wider field of action. 
Let us see what had been done in the way of molding 
character and in sending out educated men to bless the 
Cluirch and the world. 

Among the ministers sent out were the Rev. William 
R. Nicholson, now a Bishop in the Reformed Episcopal 
Cluirch; the Rev. Joseph E. Douglass, for a long time suc- 
cessfully engaged in the great work of education; James O. 
AVilliams, who was wonderful for his magnetism, and some- 
times fjr eloquence of a high order; P. J. Eckles, a man 
of rare merit, accurate scholarship, and patient devotion to 
duty; C. W. Rozzfell, after graduating with honor, entered 
ii|)(iii tlic work of the ministry, and while using his in- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CIlUllCII, SOUTH. 



GO 



liucnce and establishing a name ^vorthy of mention among 
the good and great, Avas called to his final reward; Dr. C. 
W. Bell, one of the most distinguished ministers of the 
Cumberland Presbyterian Church, is another of the noble 
band sent out from La Grange College during the adminis- 
tration of Dr. Paine. Then A. P. McFerrin, Bynum, Dun- 
can, Hcnnincr, and many others, among ^vhom we take pleas- 
vre'in mentioning Dr. Alva Johnson and Rev. R. V. Taylor, 
two noble men, the latter still a member of the Memphis 
Conference, holding diplomas with the well-known signa- 
ture of Robert Paine. Then among lawyers we name 
Edward O'Neal, now Governor of Alabama; the talented 
Lewis, also Governor of the State in troublous times; and 
the versatile Clements, the rival of Yancey, both a poet and 
novelist, a politician and lawyer, a writer and a speaker. 
No State ever boasted a purer citizen, a nobler man, a gen- 
tler Christian, an abler jurist than was William M. Byrd, 
a graduate of the college in its early days, 1837. As re- 
tiring as Cincinnatus, and as meritorious as he was modest, 
he lo'st his life by a railroad accident while in the midst of 
usefulness, and while returning from a mission of peace. 
Judcre W. B. Wood, who is ever foremost in the great bat- 
tle ol" life, foremost in Church and in State, ready to lead an 
army or hold up the banner of the cross, received his train- 
ing from this successful educator. Judge H. C. Jones, the 
able prosecutor and powerful advocate, the terror of evil- 
doers and one of the most respected. of the citizens of Ala- 
bama, was a graduate in 1840. Gen. Thomas Rivers, the 
only brother of the writer, a lawyer in Memphis, Tenn., 
and a Representative in Congress from the INIemphis District, 
was also an alumnns of La Grange, and among its earlier 
o-raduates. Col. Thomas Avery was also a lawyer of dis- 
tinction and a member of Congress from IMcmphis, Tenn. 
He was a man of talents and great moral worth. Joel L. 



70 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

PuUiani, one of the most succcssflil members of the bar in 
AVcst Tennessee, died a humble Christian. Of i^hysicians 
we may mention Dr. Josejih Towler, of Columbia, Tenn., 
who has long stood at the head of his profession, and is 
to-day one of the brightest lights in Tenne&see, a scholar, a 
gentleman, a Christian worthy to be sent forth by the form- 
ing hand of Robert Paine. Dr. J. J. Pulliam, like his 
brother the lawyer, became eminent in his profession, hon- 
oring his alma mater, and. honored, respected, and lamented 
by all who knew him. Dr. Thomas Maddin, of Nashville, 
Tenn., whose name is the synonym of all that is courtly in 
the gentleman and skillful in the j^hysician, the worthy son 
of a noble sire, and the equally worthy pupil of a dis- 
tinguished teacher, is numbered among the alumni whom 
President Paine sent forth to bless the world. 

So we could go on enumerating men, in every profession 
and in no profession, who were developed into noble man- 
hood by him whose life was one continued scene of successes 
both in the school-room and in the pulpit. He ever exer- 
cised toward his old pupils the exultant feeling which 
filled the heart of the Roman matron when, pointing to her 
sons, she said, " These are my jewels." He met them every- 
where, as he went all over the South ; and whenever he met 
them there were warm greetings and tender memories. 

Augusta College, Kentucky, was possibly the first great 
collegiate institution — in all respects a college — undertaken 
by the Methodists of the South. La Grange College was 
the second in point of time. As we have shown, it was in 
1830. This was before Randolph-Macon, and before Emory, 
of Georgia, Was all the labor lost which Dr. Paine and 
his associates performed during these sixteen years and six 
months? AVe think not. Dr. Wadsworth succeeded to the 
presidency in 1847, and was in turn succeeded by President 
Hardy. These were able men, and devoted much time and 



Bisnoi- or Tin: :,i^^^mvucn^^^^yTiu_ 



71 



,vas a tei^ible blo^^ to he C..1 c ^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ 

t:;::W Xl gWc o rConfercnees bettor building, 
off au old dtbt to h^ i^trona.'C, and endowment suf- 

and to secure fixture., local P^^t-'^^-J ; ^^^„^,j ,„a 

^:::::ri:^' M t w^:, :ut of tbo great .vi. 

rri861,irnun,beredt.obundred«.;;U^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

:rofdebt. --^'^--::i— ^sifL^s? 

its dooi-s \vere closed. Bishop mne in 5rg„kie„. 

«vs- "Randolph-Macon opened under chartei " -^lecklen 
bTg, v!.-! believe in 1832-.hile I organized La Grange 

'"Solpb-Macouha. been t-sferr-Uo A«^^^^ 
out a chaiUe of name or of relations, while La Giangc Ool 
Seei-d its location to Florence, Ala and has since 
tCtthV'Kormal Alabama C<^ege,;' and is ^^^^^^^^^^^ 
fal and flourishing institution. This s t. ue , the^ coUe 
at Florence was actually given to the S ate of Alabama by 

e Methodist Episcopal Church, South. So Uie w k 
Bishop Paine and his associates and succe soi» ^tjll 1 •== " 
u institution which promises great ^^"^-^"^'^ 
* ^^ „ <iMo which received it as a free gift trom tlic 

or ■incumbered by debt, will not be d scussed in th<. 
"S s. Suffice it to say that to the last of his life Bi.hop 
Paine always regarded the school at Florence as^^o con- 
tinuation of the one organized by himself in 18oU. oo 

different auspices, its ^alue is i^i^^y 
efforts of President Paine and his associates. 



72 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



CHAPTER X I. 

L O V E F O II THE C II U K C II . 

1BEG the reader to j^ause for a moment and to consider 
one of the leading traits of character as developed in the 
life Ave are now sketching. This trait vras love for the Meth- 
odist Church. From the moment of his conversion and im- 
mediate connection with the Church to the day of his death, 
he never would have hesitated to die for its interests in obe- 
dience to the call of the Holy Spirit ; and from love for the 
Church he surrendered wealth, position, worldly prospects, 
and entered u^^on the troubled life and severe labors of an 
itinerant Methodist preacher. At that early day Method- 
ism was not what it is now. It v;as then a despised sect. 
It had not in all its borders a single minister who ever 
ranked as a Doctor of Divinity. Colleges and universities 
had failed to recognize the talents and learning even of our 
Bishops. All these institutions of learning were in the 
hands of other denominations, and were presided over by 
many of their ministers. At the period at which Robert 
Paine entered upon his great life-work I do not suppose that 
a single State university was or ever had been presided over 
by a Methodist minister. With a salary of a hundred dol- 
lars a year, there was no prospect of ever rising to wealth. 
He could have chosen other of the learned professions, and 
have won both Avealth and honor. His personal magnetism 
would have made him a leader in politics, while his wit and 
sarcasm, together with his clear, logical mind and natural 
powers of oratory, would liave soon placed him in the first 
ranks as a lawyer. But love for tlie Church was strouircr 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 73 

than love for any of the emoluments Avhich eoiild be secured 
by any other jn-ofession. The same enthusiastic passion sent 
him into the then -wilderness of Alabama to preach the gospel 
to its sparse and scattered population. His circuit occujiied 
nearly one-fourth of the State, and his labors were so great 
as to almost Avreck for the time beins: his strong- constitution. 
After most extraordinary and continuous labor, he went up 
to the Conference almost an invalid, and the presiding 
Bishop saw it would not do for him to be returned to that 
field. It was love for the Church alone that caused him 
to take charge of La Grange College. He had to make 
sacrifices of which he never made any boast and which 
were never known to the Church. He had large and valu- 
able possessions in Xashville, which he might have kept 
and looked after until they would have yielded him enough 
to satisfy any reasonable desires for wealth. As all his in- 
terests were in Alabama, he sold this city property before 
Nashville had fairly entered upon its career as a prosperous 
city. He knew that he was making a great worldly sacri- 
fice, but the Church demanded his labors elsewhere, and 
the sacrifice was readily made. 

Again and again had he resigned his position as President 
of La Grano-e Colle2:e, and as often had he withdrawn it 
because the Church required that he continue at the seat 
of her cherished institution. 

At a certain time, when the election of delegates to the 
General Conference was about to begin, I knew him to rise 
in his seat, and beg the brethren for the sake of the Church 
not to cast their votes for him. He said: "We have here 
a distinguished transfer from another Conference. He ought 
to be elected. His talents, his devotion to the Church, his 
liaving heretofore filled the place of delegate from another 
Conference, and his great influence in the General Confei"- 
2nce, all demand that he be sent as a delegate from the 



74 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



Tennessee Conference, of which, by transfer, he has just be- 
come a member. Brethren, I urge his claims, and beg that 
you vote for him and not for me." I recollect well the time 
and the scene of these remarks. The transfer w^as elected, 
and so was Robert Paine, We could not do without his 
services in the General Conference just at that important 
juncture. 

At a still later period it was love for the Church and a 
sense of duty that caused him to accept the office of Bishop. 
He says in his diary: "What shall I do? Am not suited 
for its heavy responsibilities, constitutionally unfit — too 
hasty, too little self-possession, want of decision ; above all, 
want of juore piety, absence from my dear family. I give 
myself to God and his Church for life and iu death. May 
all be his! What shall I do? I almost sink under it. O 
God, to whom I have long since devoted myself and my 
all, direct me!" 

He loved the doctrines of the Church. He was a thor- 
ough Arminian and a most devoted Methodist. Regenera- 
tion and the witness of the Spirit he had experienced on 
the mcmoral)le 9th of October, 1817. He never doubted 
that. The following letter will show how he regarded the 
doctrine of sanctification, as taught by Mr. Wesley and 
other standard writers in our Church. The letter was writ- 
ten to the Rev. J. S. Spencer. He says: 

Shortly after my conversion — indeed, I may say at once — I began 
to exliort my family to turn to God. I could not be silent, and soon 
1 was trying to preach. I scarcely paused to reason on the question 
of n)y call to the ministry, hut was in the work and at it directly. I 
liave not since felt at liberty to quit the itinerant work. Long 
and earnestly I sought the blessing of perfect love. Once or twice 
while preaching upon it I have felt constrained to say I know tbe 
])lessing is attainable from my own overpowering emotions of the 
divine fullness, but unfortunately I have not, after calm reflection, 
felt satisfied as to my having attained it. I believe in it, pray for it, 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. /.) 

and amid many discouragements arising from my own want of faith, 
am still trying to be wholly devoted to God. I wish I was as well 
satisfied of my attainment of this blessing as I am of the truth of the 
Christian religion and of the doctrine of Christian holiness. I re- 
gard it as the great de.'<i(h'ratn)n of the ministry and membershi|). We 
need holiness more than any thing else. We need other things, many 
things, but this most of all. We need it to make us hai)py ami use- 
ful. The Church will degenerate, and cease to be a working and 
spiritual body, unless she aspires after holiness; and nothing but ho- 
liness will keep alive in our preachers the simple, fervent, and self- 
sacrificing spirit of our fathers. For this there is no substitute as to 
success or final happiness. Methodists are committed by their creed 
to this doctrine. Consistency demands that, believing it, we seek the 
blessing. We are the only Church which has boldly taken the ground. 
If we be faithful to it, God will not abandon us. If not faithful, he 
will cast us off arid raise up another more devoted and holy people. 
He ought to do so, and will do it. He cannot deny himself, and ho- 
liness is his requirement — "Be ye holy, for I am holy;" "Without 
holiness, no man shall see the Lord," This work is begun in con- 
version, but its consummation in perfect love has as distinctive and 
clear a witness from the Holy Spirit as our regeneration. It is our 
privilege and duty to seek this state and this evidence. God help 
us! Yours tridy, 11. Paine. 

I doubt whether any member or minister in all our vast 
Connection ever loved the Church with a deeper, holier 
fervor. 

At two different joeriods in his life he felt called upon to 
defend the peculiar doctrines of Methodism against the at- 
tacks of ministers of sister denominations. This he did 
bravely and suc-cessfully. He showed the rarest ability in 
ecclesiastical and doctrinal conflicts. Calvinism felt the 
shock throughout the South. From the day that its errors 
were exposed by Robert Paine, then in his early manhood 
in Tennessee, to this very time, the ablest ministers of that 
faith have failed to preach the revolting points of the West- 
minster Creed. Election and reprobation, as taught in the 
Shorter Catechism, and as argued in Calvin's Institutes, 



76 LIFE OF KOBLRT TAINE, D.D. 

have not been often presented even from Calvinistic pulpits. 
Botli Avith his pen and in public preaching he exposes errors 
Avhicli he regarded as dishonoring to God as they were op- 
posed to his revealed "will. 

Yet Avith all his love for the Church of his choice, and with 
his readiness to defend the truth and to oppose error, he was 
always charitable and courteous. After a debate which lasted 
for days, the Christian spirit which prevailed between the com- 
batants so affected the listeners that a deep religious impres- 
sion was made. Tliis being followed up on the next Sunday 
by an appeal from Mr. Paine, a great aAvakening succeeded. 
The revival which folloAved Avas one of great poAver, and it 
did not end until there Avas a general baptism of the Spirit 
and many Avere happily converted to God. Both parties to 
the contest engaged in the revival, and as a rare occurrence 
a hotly contested debate terminated in a splendid revival of 
religion. 

And yet Avith all his Ioa'c for the Church of his choice — 
its doctrine and polity — lie Avr.s as far from bigotry as he 
Avas from indecision. A pronounced Methodist, he Avas ever 
ready to give the right-hand of felloAvship to all that named 
the name of Christ. A Methodist, but not a sectarian ; de- 
cided, but not bigoted; earnest, but not exclusive — he com- 
manded and deserved the love of all true folloAvers of Christ. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CllUIiCir, SOUTH. / / 



CHAPTER XIII. 

The General Conference of 1844 — The Sequence. 

THE General Conference of 1844 -was now approaching. 
Dr. Paine was of course a delegate. Bishop Andrew 
in the interval of the Conferences of 1840 and 1844 had 
become connected with the institution of slavery. He was 
without a stain upon his moral or religious character. His 
connection arose from having married a woman who was a 
slave-holder. He went to the Conference with no apprehen- 
sion of the terrible ecclesiastical storm ^vhich Avould be raised 
around his devoted head. He and his friends in the Pouth 
soon saw the storm gathering. He was to be sacrificed. 
There was no alternative. It was resolved to be the sense 
of the Conference tl at he no longer exercise episcopal func- 
tions. To submit to the passage of this resolution without 
a protest would have been unjust to the Bishop, and, as Dr. 
Olin admitted, a perpetual bar to the continuance of IMeth- 
odism in the slave-holding States. 

Good and great men differed. The struggle was between 
giants. The Bishop was virtually deposed. The South must 
sustain him. His case excited the deepest sympathies of the 
best men in the Korth. No one can ever forget the speech 
of Dr. Olin. He himself had been connected with slavery. 
He had severed the relations so far as he was individually 
concerned by selling his slaves. He believed this to be legal 
and proper. He was to go North. His health demanded 
it. He could not carry his slaves with him. He sold them, 
and used the money. He felt that the good of the Church 
demanded now the immolation of his friend, who was cer- 
tainly no more guilty than himself. So the work was done. 



7S LIFE OF ROBERT RAINE, D.D. 



Dr. Paine Avas i)lac'e(l on the committee of nine appointed 
especially to devise means for a peaceable separation. Pru- 
dent and good men from both sections were on that com- 
mittee. Dr. Paine was chairman. Never was prudence 
more needed. Never was there a greater demand for Chris- 
tian charity. The committee acted wisely and well. The 
Houth Avas satisfied — nay, more, was gratified. If peace 
could not be enjoyed except by a severance of Church rela- 
tions, then was it their duty to separate. Let there be no 
strife. This was the Christian motto. To conserve peace 
was the design of this committee, and the whole object of 
its action. The peace-loving Caj^ers, the majestic Winans, 
the sweet-spirited Drake, the two Pierces — father and son — 
and the peerless Bascom, with others from the South, were 
lending all their influence to carry out this grand measure. 
Then there were those from the North, not less pious, and 
not less efficient in promoting a measure believed to be for 
the best interests of both sections. Such men as Nathan 
Bangs, Bishop Morris, and Stephen 01 in brought to bear 
the weight of great character and the power of holy charity 
to effect an arrangement which would quiet the storm by 
pouring oil upon the troubled waters. The action of the 
Conference of 1844 resulted, as is well known, in the or- 
ganization of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 
1845 the convention of delegates chosen in exact accordance 
with the plan of separation assembled in Louisville, Ky. 
At that convention the organization was peacefully and 
unanimously effected. In its proceedings Dr. Paine was 
conspicuous. His firmness, caution, wisdom, and piety were 
all needed and brought into requisition. He delivered be- 
fore the convention an address admirable in its spirit, con- 
vincing in its logic, and powerful in its effect. The conven- 
tion appointed the meeting of the first Soutliern General 
Conference to be held in Petersburg, Va. It was presided 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. • 70 



over bv Bislio})s Soule and Andrew. It was then manifest 
that both these Bislioi)s would continue their episcopal func- 
tions. The adherence of Bishop Soule to the Southern 
Church was the result of deliberate reflection and of con- 
scientious convictions on the part of that great and good 
man. He was the senior Bishop of the Methodist Episco- 
l)al Church. He was revered at the South as almost with- 
out a peer. He was "every inch a man," and every inch 
a Christian of the highest type. So the Southern organi- 
zation could in- no sense be termed a secession. It was le- 
gitimate. It was proper. It was approved of God. It 
contained all the cardinal doctrines and the discipline of 
the undivided Church. Had the terms of separation been 
rigidly and properly complied with by both Churches, 
North and South, much evil would have been averted, 
and much violent controversy avoided. The plan was de- 
vised by the committee of nine, and was well carried out by 
the Louisville Convention. To Dr. Paine as much as to 
any other man are we indebted for this great pacific meas 
ure, honorable to l)oth sections and perfectly acceptable to 
the South. He was faithful to the high trust committed to 
him, and though opposed to controversy was drawn into 
one of rather a heated nature with the Rev. Thos. E. Bond. 
That controversy will not be revived in these pages. Through 
it all Dr. Paine adhered to the most rigid demands of truth, 
and always showed himself the courtly gentleman and tlie 
dignified Christian minister. 

A long and friendly correspondence was kept up between 
Dr. Paine and Bishop Morris in reference to the best inter- 
ests of the Church. He and Bishop Morris had been friends 
from early manhood, and this friendship continued unbro- 
ken and rather cemented, more tender and confidential, all 
through the heated controversy which attended and followed 
the organizati(m of the Methodist Ej)iscopal Church, South. 



80 LIFE OF ROBERT FAINE, D.D. 

Amid all this .strife, these two men continued to love each 
other as did David and Jonathan. Their example was beau- 
tiful. Their Christian charity shone all the brighter because 
of the bitterness which was fostered to an extent Avhich re- 
flected no honor or glory upon Christian character, and 
which certainly lessened the world's respect for the religion 
of meekness, forbearance, and love. 

But let the dead past bury its dead. The long strife, we 
trust, is ended forever. One of his last acts was to have 
Bishop Peck at his house, and to enjoy with him the sweet- 
est Christian converse. Bishop Peck acknowledged the hos- 
pitality with the most touching evidences of fraternal love. 
To see these two Bishops, one above four-score years, the 
other past his three-score and ten, commune in the spirit of 
love, and enjoy each other's society as they did, were a ben- 
ediction in any age of the Church. Especially Avas it a ben- 
ediction at the time and under the circumstances in Avhich 
this beautiful display of fraternal love was manifested. 



r,TRITOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH. SOUTH. 81 



CHAPTER XIV. 

General Conference of 184G — Struggles — Victouy. 

TllV^ Ihr we have followed Dr. Paine all along his early 
years and to the prime of mature manhood. We have 
seen him the sprightly, mischievous school-boy; the mer- 
chant's faithful clerk ; the close, earnest student, poring over 
the classics and delving into mathematics. We have seen 
him the humble penitent, the happy Christian, and the 
youthful missionary. Like David, he goes forth vdth peb- 
ble and sling to conquer the Goliath of sin. Without prep- 
aration, without license, "without more than one month's ex- 
perience of the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ, he is found 
preaching the everlasting gospel. On he moves and upward 
he rises until he has become the popular young preacher, 
attractino; crowds of hearers in the risinir towns of Tennes- 
see, and especially in the promising young city of Nashville, 
Tenu. A presiding elder and a delegate to the General 
Conference immediately after his ordination as elder in the 
Church of God, he continues the same humble, pi^yerful, 
faithful man. The loved companion of Bishop McKendree, 
and aiding that venerable man in the preparation of the 
Bishops' Address to the General Conference before he was 
twenty-five years of age, he seems all unconscious of the 
height to "which his piety and talents and singular moral 
worth have raised him. For sixteen years we have seen 
him the rising President of one of our oldest colleges. In 
all these positions he exhibits the highest manhood and a 
capability for any work to which the Church might call 
him. The General Conference of 1840, which was held at 
Petersburg, Va., found it necessary to elect two Bishops. 
6 



82 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

Bishop Soule was getting to be an old man. Then, lie was 
troubled with a chronic disease which often unfitted him for 
duty. Bishop Andrew could be called upon for years to 
come, but he could not do all the work needed. William 
Capers and Robert Paine were chosen to this most imj^or- 
tant and responsible office. It was not desired, not expected 
l)y Dr. Paine. He had a young and growing family. He 
loved his home. He shrunk from notoriety. It was repug- 
nant to his feelings, and for a time opposed to his judgment. 
He hesitated. He prayed. He struggled. He sj^ent a 
night of sleepless agony. He passed through all the throes 
which have accompanied great men when called by Provi- 
dence to a great work. He almost rebelled. Conscience 
— tender, well instructed, and which had always been ke2:>t 
void of offense toward God and man — asserted its authority. 
At last he yielded, and was happy. The Be v. Fountain E. 
Pitts, who spent the night with him, and saw the depth of 
his agony and witnessed the fearful struggles of his great 
soul, and who had been a great revivalist, said that the con- 
flict reminded him of the wails of penitence which he had 
oflcn heard from persons under the deepest conviction for 
sin. And he further said the victory was as complete as 
he had ever witnessed in the conversion of a soul. When 
the struggle was over and the victory had been won, a holy 
cabnness, a great submission to the Divine will, and a firm 
resolve to meet all the responsibilities of his high and holy 
office, followed, and he rose to the full height of his great 
calling, and settled the question then and there forever. 
Such was the conflict of soul through which he passed to 
the hidiest office in the Church — thehiii;hest office on earth. 
He was not elated. The office had sought him. The honor 
had come unbidden. Duty to God and man, made clear by 
the word of God and by the Holy Spirit, was the one great 
ami all-suflicient reason for assuming such grave resjoonsi- 



ETSITOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOTjTH. 83 

l)ilitics. So on Thursday, the 14th day of May, 1846, he 
was most solemuly set apart and ordained to the work of a 
Bisliop in the ]\Iethodist Episcopal Church, South. The 
services were conducted by Bishops Soulc and Andrew. 
They were deeply impressive. It was in Washington Street 
Church, Petersburg, Va. The congregation was large, and 
the scene a hallowed one. All the men engaged in the cer- 
emony were men of mark. Bishop Soule arose in all the 
dignity of his high office, and never appeared more a Bishop 
than at that time. Bishop Andrew, meek, subdued, yet 
strong;, showed that his episcopal robes were still unsoiled, 
and that they had not been rudely torn from his manly 
form. Dr. Capers, radiant with celestial light, gentle as 
John, evangelical, earnest, eloquent, and deeply pious, 
received with meekness the mantle of Asbury, and by the 
imposition of hands was most solemnly consecrated as an 
overseer of the Church of God. Robert Paine, younger by 
many years than his colleague, in the maturity of his great 
intellect, with a self-abnegation worthy of a martyr, v.ith 
victory already flashing from his dark, expressive eyes, and 
with submission, firmness, and faith mingling with the high- 
est resolve, solemnly took the vows, and from that hour be- 
came a Methodist Bishop. I^ever did man take vows more 
conscientiously; never were vows fulfilled more faithfully. 

At the close of this General Conference he returned to 
La Grange College. The parting with Trustees and Fac- 
ulty and students was very sad to him. Here he had spent 
more than sixteen years of his valuable life. The Trustees 
had always trusted entirely to him. Before this they had 
clung to him, refused again and again to accept his resigna- 
tion. The students loved him as a father, and looked up to 
him as their best friend and wisest counselor. The Faculty 
all felt that it would be almost impossible to find a successor 
who Avould combine all the qualities of a great President 



84 LIFE OF ROBERT RAIXE, D.D. 

which belonged to Bishop Paine. His magnanimity, liis 
readiness to assume responsibility, his fearlessness in admin- 
istering disci]:>line; his magnetism among the boys, drawing 
tliem all to him ; his ability as an instructor, and his love of 
truth and perfect freedom from all cant or pedantry, had all 
tended to endear him to his brethren of the Faculty, and 
to cause the deej^est regret at his departure. As the time 
neared for his departure upon his first episcopal tour, he 
felt still more keenly the sacrifice which he was making in 
obedience to conscience and at the call of the Holy Spirit. 
His home was never more charming. His young and de- 
voted wife, by all that was beautiful and elegant in her 
home, by her prudence, piety, and devotion to him, her 
care for the boys by a former marriage, and her sweet 
young motherhood, had made his home as bright and happy 
as it had once been lonely and desolate. And now for months 
at a time this sweet home, so pure, so attractive, must be sur- 
rendered, and he must go from it. He knew that his own 
dear children needed his watchful eye, his fatherly care and 
advice. He must go along the western borders in the Indian 
Territory, and wherever duty might call him. The methods 
of travel were mostly by the old stage-coach, rarely by 
steam-boat, still less frequently by railroad. It required 
weeks of travel, painful and cheerless, to go from one Con- 
ference to another. The time occupied in travel was any 
thing but pleasant. From the time he left his home on his 
first tour until his arrival at the seat of his first Conference 
was nearly two whole weeks — weeks without comfort, and 
of constant exjoosure. 



BISHOP OF TIIK M. K. CIIURCII, SOUTIf. 



CHAPTER XV. 

BiSHor Paine ox His Kounds. 

TT was on September 6, 1846, that Bishop Paine left his 
1 home, then in La Grange, Ak\bama, on his first round of 
episcopal duty. He took the stage at dark in Tuscumbia. 
He Avas the only passenger. After passing Ripley, Missis- 
sippi, on the 17th, the horses ran off with the stage, turned it 
over and broke it. The driver was caught under the bro- 
ken stage and partially disabled. The Bishop was unhurt. 
He had to stay in the swamp alone for hours, until a wagon 
could be obtained in which the journey was pursued to 
Holly Springs. On the 19th he arrived at Memphis, Ten- 
nessee; on the 21st started on a steam-boat up the Mississip- 
pi River. On his way to Hannibal, the seat of the Missouri 
Conference, he made as close observations as possible. Hiii 
journal abounds with brief notices of the geological forma- 
tions. He always did this. The high hills, the limestone 
and chert, all attracted his attention. These observations 
had enabled him to prophesy the great mineral wealth 
to be found in the mountains of North Alabama, and were 
the means of his discovering and calling attention to the 
vast quantities of coal found in Illinois and Missouri. Of 
these facts he tells us in his "Notes of Life." The first 
Conference over which he presided began its session in the 
town of Hannibal, ]Mo., on the oOth of September, 1846. 
John H. Linn was the stationed preacher, and with him he 
made his home. George ^Y. Bewley, to whom in the al)- 
scnce of a Bishop he had given a certificate of transfer 



86 LIFE OF ROBERT PAIXE, D.D. 



from the Tennessee Conference many years before, was still 
in connection with the AVestern Conference. He was lying 
ill of consumption. He knew that his days were few. He 
was ready and anxious to go. The meeting between these 
old and dear friends was exceedingly tender. When the 
dvino- man saw his old friend, now a Bishop, it affected him 
deeply. They met again on earth : the one just entering 
upon a new and untried field of labor and usefulness, the 
other ready to exchange labor for reward. 

Many perplexing legal questions came up at this Confer- 
ence. They were readily and correctly decided by the new 
Bishop, who had been a godson of Bishop McKendree, and 
Mas already well versed in ecclesiastical law. These ques- 
tions originated in the recent division of the Conference — 
the St. Louis having been separated from the Missouri. He 
felt deeply his responsibility. He prayed most fervently 
for Divine help. He was quick yet cautious, generous and 
sympathetic but impartial and inflexibly just. Not only in 
the chair but in the cabinet did the Bishop feel most intense- 
ly his need of Divine help. As he entered upon his work, he 
writes in his diary : " This is my first Conference. Lord, help 
me." A world of meaning is expressed in these two short 
sentences. What work of man is so delicate and so difficult 
as that of determining the stations of the preachers? Con- 
flicting interests, family relations, the fitness of men for the 
different conditions of the work, the special need of partic- 
ular churches, the absolute necessity for frequent removals, 
and above all the great question. How can the cause of 
God be best promoted in this arrangement of the appoint- 
ments? — all gave him the greatest concern. He was a 
magnanimous man. He was in deep sympathy with the 
l)reachers, and would never afflict one if he could avoid it. 
He loved and honored the Church, and desired id)ove all 
its spiritual growth, and was of course unwilling to send 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 87 

^v charse a man .vho might be rntl.or a cm-,se than a 
blc"";o The question .itU l,i,u was, Who .s the ngh 
' n f^: each paltoral charge? When this was scttle.l. and 
i' was found that without severe affliofon theappo.ntn ents 
CO Id al be made, then ho was happy. No man that has 
K ed the episcopal chair-ever felt more deeply the Icar- 
S t^l MlitJ resting upon hin> than did th.s B-.shop, 
S ou"i all the years of his episcopacy. The.^ was greater 
nled than usual of the most eonsumn.ate prudence m n>ak- 
b' tl e appointments at this his first Conference. It was a 
boner Conference; and many will remember that for years 
Si alon. the border were still heard the dymg eehoe^ of a 
"fierce and terrible ecclesiastical w.r. 1« "- 
^vere needed at certain points, or great grief might befall the 

"^ "wtough a fine country from Hannibal to 
Boonvi le. He continued to notice the encrnntes, pent.e- 
nles, and other fossils, and marked the existence of coal 
from St. Louis to Hannibal, Glasgow, Boonville, etc. On 
his route he traveled by many diflerent modes of convey- 
* ce, from a stage-coach to a skift". At BoonviUe he held 
the St. Louis Conference, which began its session on the 14 Jr 
o7october and closed on the 20th. From thus Conf^-enc 
le went into the Indian Territory. He -ted Ac d,«eren 
tribes. He learned much of their character, and »till mo e 
of Aeir wants. He was among the Osages, the Wyandot 
the Creeks, the Cherokees, etc. He Visited the difl-eren 
Sools and missions. He was at the Baptist _n=u 
the Ouaker Mission as ^vell as at our own. He had been 
y'^e ^s a dose student of ethnology. Ho had .peeiaUy 
studied the origin of the American 1"^--. -^^ ''-' 
in a sharp but friendly controversy with ^'- -^■^■ 
P Green opposed the idea that they were the ten to 
^•ibes of Israel. He pursued this study by the closest ob- 



88 LIFE OF ROBERT FAINE, D.D. 

scrvation of their traditions, festivals, religious rites, lan- 
guage, and superstitions. He preached to them through au 
interpreter. He saw their agents, and felt how greatly they 
had been imposed upon. He became well acquainted Avith 
our missionaries, and was deeply sensible of their trials and 
discouragements. He remained in the Indian Territory 
until after the Indian jNIission Conference. The day he was 
forty-nine years old he says : " This day I consecrate myself 
wholly to Him and His Church. O for a pure, wise, and 
devoted soul, holy and useful! Indian INIission Confei'cnce 
began." After the Conference, of which his old Tennessee 
friend the Rev. W. L. McAlister was the Secretary, he 
continued to visit places in the Indian Territory. He was 
with the Choctaws, the Creeks, and the Cherokecs, and wit- 
nessed the progress of civilization among them. During this 
trip he was greatly exposed. The water-courses were all 
high, and he ha^ to cross them in "dug-outs" unskillfully 
managed and in a "tottering condition." Especially was 
he exposed in crossing the Arkansas Hi ver, which was much 
swollen and threatened to capsize the little canoe whirling 
round and round in a rapid and dangerous manner. He 
passed by different forts and schools, and at last arrived safe 
and thankful at Fort Smith, Ark. Here he met thousands 
moving to Texas. "Wagons, wagons were crowded along 
the banks of the river" — so he enters it. At Van Burcn 
he met the Arkansas Conference, which commenced its ses- 
sion on [November 25'. Again his knowledge of ecclesiastic- 
al law was tested. Many legal questions were propounded, 
and all readily answered. The Conference closed on the 
30th of November, and he started innnediately to Little 
Rock. After remaining at Little Rock, waiting for a boat, 
he started down the river for home. After passing Napo- 
leon a fearful accident occurred. A flue collapsed — the 
boiler l)urst — all was a scene of wild confusion. The ca2> 



BISHOP OF TIIH M. K. CHURCH, SOUTH. 89 



tain ^vas alarmed, and unable to command his crew. One 
man was torn to pieces and others hurt. The Bishop took 
command, gave directions to throw out the tiller-rope and 
to land the vessel. Calm, trustful, strong, he alone had 
the presence of mind to do what was needed. The crew- 
obeyed. The vessel was saved. The passengers, too, with 
grateful hearts acknowledged their obligations to the good 
Bishop. Like St. Paul when his vessel was sinking, he took 
charge of the men, and proved himself a man trustful in God, 
but a soul so much above the ordinary man that he alone 
of all that were on board showed ability to rule in the 
midst of the most fearful confusion and in the presence 
of death. When all was accomplished that could be done, 
he wrote: " Merciful God, what a scene! Thank God it 
was no worse." 

I do not know that any incident in the life of the Bishop 
more fully exhibits the greatness of his character than the 
one thus briefly narrated. His presence of mind in the 
face of disaster, his calm self-possession in the midst of 
unusual confusion, his power to command men unknown to 
him, his actually taking the place of the experienced Ijut 
frightened captain and saving those that were not killed by 
the explosion — all show a greatness of soul rising to a height 
at once sublime and rarely reached by any man. Another 
boat passing soon carried them to the Mississippi River in 
safety. Here they were transferred to a boat bound for ^lem- 
phis. Arriving at ^Memphis, he met with Bishop Andrevr, 
spent some time with him in sweet and holy comiimnion, 
heard him preach his famous sermon on family government, 
iind with a thankful heart started to his home in Aberdeen, 
INIiss. During his long tour his family had removed from 
La Grange, Ala., to this place, Aberdeen. After passing 
over " terrible" roads and l)eing upset in the stage, he ar- 
rived at home on the 17th of December, 18-1(3. He had 



90 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

])Gen absent a little more than three months. This -was his 
first experience as a Bishop. He was happy. A loving 
■wife had proved herself worthy of being the wife of a Bish- 
op, and welcomed him to their new home. It was a happy 
meeting. The children were so glad to see him who was so 
good and tender a father, and whose presence was such a 
benediction to the home circle. He simply writes: "Home. 
Thank God ten thousand times! All's well." In this 
happy home he had rest. No man ever loved home more. 
Amid these loved ones he was to some extent re2:)aid for the 
hazards and self-denials of his long and eventful absence. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 91 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Fulfilling His Mission. 
TV FTER a brief sojourn Avitli his precious family, he left 
io. Aberdeen on February 15, 1847, to attend the Texas 
and East Texas Conferences. He went by IMobile, staying 
^vith his old friend Col. R. A. Baker, and baptizing his son, 
Alexander Price. He stopped a day or two in New Or- 
leans, and was most cordially entertained in the family of 
another old friend, H. R. W. Hill. He had known Broth- 
er Hill in Tennessee, and had witnessed his powerful con- 
version at the first Conference that he ever attended at 
Franklin, Tenn. On February 26 he left on a steamer for 
Galveston, Texas. He was terribly seasick. He writes in 
his journal : " Sick, sick. Roughest sea I ever saw. Had to 
turn back and put into Barataria Bay. A miserable day." 
He arrived safe, after this stormy voyage, on March 1 ; was 
cordially received and welcomed by friends in Galveston. 
He remained a day or two ; preached on " Lovest thou me 
more than these?" On the oth of March he left for the 
seat of the Texas Conference, which was to be held at a l)ig 
school-liouse in the neighborhood of his old friends Chappcll 
and Hargrove, and near to Brother Bragg's. This place 
WHS beyond Houston, and not far from the Brazos River. 
He had to go part of the way on horseback, and to spend 
one night in a dirty hovel with hogs and vermin ; but at the 
Conference he had a good time with his old friends, and 
especially with such men as Whipple, Thrall, Alexandci-, 
Fisher, DeVilbiss, Haynie, Hamilton, and others. He 
greatly enjoyed his visit to his old friends who had minis- 



92 LIFE OF ROBERT FAINE, D.D. 



tered to him so kindly wlien he vras a boy on the Tusca- 
loosa Circuit. At Father Chappell's they showed him a 
coin ^Yhich had been given by him to one of his boys nearly 
thirty years before. It had been kept in memory of the 
young preacher all that time. On the 16th of March he 
left his old friends for the East Texas Conference, which 
was to be held at Clarksville, and was to begin the 31st 
of March. He had to go the entire distance on horse- 
back. The roads were bad, and the fare alon^ the route 
still worse. He was badly mounted. The trip was one 
of the most disagreeable of his life. It was during the 
Mexican war, and the country was much excitd by false 
rumors in reference to General Taylor and his army. He 
suffered along the way from a severe attack of sickness; 
but, sick and sore from rough roads and miserable fare, 
he traveled on. Sometimes he was hardly able to sit 
on his horse, but there was no place at which he could be 
much bettered ; so he kept in the saddle, and jogging along 
on a poor one-eyed horse, until he arrived at Clarksville in 
time for the Conference. He preached on the Sabbath of 
this Conference to an immense congregation in the Presby- 
terian church, and had great liberty. His text was, " Occu- 
py till I come." He had been sick during all the Confer- 
ence. He saw the great need of more preachers in the 
Conference. He felt the responsibility resting upon the la- 
borers whom he was to send out to occupy that vast territo- 
ry. Full of his subject, he felt that God was near, his 
Spirit resting upon him, and he gave them one of his very 
best gospel sermons. After the sermon he ordained six 
deacons, and in the afternoon five elders. On the 7th the 
Conference closed. He started again on horseback and 
made his Avay to Shreveport, La., thence by steam-boat to 
New Orleans and to IVIobile and home, where he arrived on 
the 22d of April. He had been absent from home more 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. Do 

than two months, and had held but two Conferences. In 
less than one year he had traveled over many States and 
through different Territories. He had seen sights such as 
even to his extensive experience were entirely new. He had 
been among the Indians, and traveled extensively throuo:h 
their Territory. He had been by the battle-ground of 8al- 
tillo, and was at one time not far from the battling hosts of 
Taylor and Santa Ana. He had at one time been lost in 
the deep forests of Texas, ;\nd had spent nights in the most 
disagreeable and dirty haunts. He had been compelled to 
travel when so sick as hardly able to sit on his horse. He 
had witnessed the blowing up of a steam-boat ; had been 
compelled to take charge of the terrified crcAv. But he was 
again at his home. He was made welcome by the best of 
wives. In all his absence she never uttered one complain- 
ing word. God had called him ; she would not by word or 
act discourage him in his great mission. He said to me: 
" Rivers, few persons know what a wife I have. She is the 
bravest of her sex, and as for firmness I know not her equal. 
I do not see how I could do the work of a INIethodist Bishop 
were it not for her. She has great responsibilities, and 
meets them with a patience and firmness that almost puts 
me to the blush." Such were the contents of the "alabas- 
ter box" which he poured upon the head of this good woman 
during life. I like this. It sends forth the sweetest odor. 
It is so much better to give this testimony long before the 
burial of the loved one. Said a Bishop to me: "I do not 
wonder that it is a great cross for Bishop Paine to leave 
his home. I have recently visited him, and he certainly 
has much to attract him there, for he has one of the most 
delightful homes I have ever visited." It was to this most 
excellent wife that home vras indebted for its sweetness, its 
beauty, and its sunshine. 



94 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.T). 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Gkeat Missionary Meeting — Terrible Accident — Wonder- 
ful Providence. 

OX Se2:)tember 7, 1847, he started on his second round of 
Conferences. On the 17th he met Bishop Soule in 
Louisville, Ky. They had a delightful session together. 
Bishop Soule revised the entire work of the young Bishop, 
and pronounced " the work all done right." This gratified 
Bishop Paine, and caused him to pen the ejaculation so 
often occurring in his diary, " Thank God ! " From Louis- 
ville he went to Harrodsburg, to hold the Kentucky Con- 
ference. Here he met his old fi-iend Dr. Bascom, and had 
the privilege of hearing Jonathan Stamper preach before he 
ordained the ciders. They had a grand missionary meeting 
on Monday night of the Conference. Dr. Sehon j^rcached 
on " Go ye into all the world," etc. The Doctor roused up 
the people, and after a short address from the Bishop a fine 
collection was taken. During this collection the congrega- 
tion was thrilled by the following incident. The Rev. G. 
W. Brush came forAvard Avith a fine gold watch and chain, 
and said: "This watch is the gift of a much beloved brother 
to his sister. It w^as given by the brother on his death-bed. 
It has been prized by this sister as a souvenir from a most 
tenderly loved brother. Bishop, she wants to give this watch 
and chain to the missionary cause. She desires that it be 
appropriated to the Indians. Will you accept this from as 
pure a Christian woman as can be found in all Kentucky?" 
The gifl was from Miss Sue Scantland, now ]Mrs. A. A. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 0-3 

Morrison, of Denver, Col. She not only gave her beautiful 
watch, but she gave herself to the cause of God, and became 
the devoted wife of a noble INIethodist preacher. More 
than twenty years after the bestowal of this gift, in response 
to the Bishop's appeal, she and her devoted husband re- 
ceived their appointment to Colorado at the hands of this 
senior Bishop.* Some one made Mrs. Paine a life-member 
of the Missionary Society, which compliment was greatly 
appreciated by the Bishop. This was one of the most de- 
liij-htful sessions of an Annual Conference that he ever held. 
The spirit of the preachers, the kindness of friends, the 
fervor of the missionary feeling — rising almost to "v>hite 
heat " — and the renewal of many old associations, all tended 
to make the Conference highly enjoyable. He had Bisliop 
Soule with him a part of the time. The presence of that 
great and good man was always a benediction to Bishop 
Paine. In a few days he set out for the Louisville Confer- 
ence, which was to be held at Glasgow. A letter to Mrs. 
Paine will tell much better than I can what happened at 
the beginning of his journey: 

Daxville, Ky., Oct. 4, 1817. 
My Precious Wife: If God Imd not I'cen here, your poor liushand 
would liave been killed about tAvo hours after I wrote you last. But 
He to wliom I consecrated myself and my all was present to preserve 
and rescue me. Let us be thankful, for I am alive in soul and in 
body, and though severely bruised and stiff, have suffered no serious 
injury. These are the facts: I wrote to you from Ilarrodsburg on 
the 30th of September that I intended to return to Louisville by 
way of Lexington and Kentucky River. So, to do so I had to go to 
Danville that evening and thence by stage next morning to Lexing- 
ton. Broflier ]I. J. Perry, jjresiding elder of this district, drove up to 
my room and offered me a scat in liis buggy with liis wife to come 
here. He lives here, and the distance is only ten miles. I accepted 
it, and he rode on horseback and I drove. The horse was restive, 

■■'• While those pages were going through tlie press, we received the intelli- 
gence of the death of Rev. A. A, Jlorrison.— Ed. 



96 LIFE OF EGBERT PAINE, D.D. 



Lut rather unwilling to go fast. I disliked his movements from the 
first, and was constantly on my guard, traveling slowly all the way. 
After going about seven miles, and just as I was turning down a long 
liill, he suddenly as lightning and without any known cause darted 
forward. I pulled Avitli all my might, and he began to kick and 
l)lunge forward. I found it impossible to stop or even imjjede his 
furious course, and tried to turn him off the turnpike against a gate, 
but could not. By the time we passed the gate he was running his 
best and kicking like seven devils Avere in him. He liad already 
kicked off the dash and foot-board, and once or twice his feet came 
very near my face. I saw that there was no hoj)e but in upsetting, 
and getting clear of him as soon as possible. In this I succceded'by 
turning the buggy over a large pile of rocks lying near the gate. 
This upset us with a terrible crash and threw us on the turnpike 
"with tremendous violence. I literally slid on the turnijike three 
feet, and lay stunned and apj^arently dead for some time. The first 
thing I recollect was Sister Perry standing over me exclaiming, 
" The Bishop is killed, he is dead ! " But by degrees I became con- 
scious, and Avas lifted up and finally brought to this place, AA'here 
kind friends and good physicians and a merciful God have taken 
care of me. I am this morning able to get up, put on my clotlies 
Avitli a little help, and Avrite these lines to my dear Avife. It Avas 
found that I had suffered greatly in that aAvful fall, but I tell you — 
and you knoAV I never deceived you in all my life, and that I Avill 
not lie — that I am not severely hurt anyAvhere. None of my bones 
are broken, nor have I sustained any internal injury. vVnd as evi- 
dence of this, I shall resume my journey to GlasgoAv in time to meet 
the Conference at its opening. I Avas bruised severely. All my 
side except my chest is bruised; in several places the skin and llesh 
lacerated. My hand, elboAV, ankle, Avrist, and especially my hip and 
pelvis bones and thigh, are badly bruised and quite sore yet. I can, 
hoAvever, Avalk across my room., and I know that all my bones are 
sound. Thank God! The doctor has just examined me, pronounced 
me unbroken, and given me his final directions. Sister «Perry Avas 
badly cut on the forehead and her foot hurt. The buggy Avas torn 
to pieces. I am in the midst of very kind friends Avho Avait on me 
with very great tenderness and let me want for nothing. All day 
yesterday and last night and to-day I liave been very hai)})y. I feel 
that I am the projicrty of my God and Ins Church. X love God. 1 
trust him. He Avill take care of me, and bring me to my loA'ed ones 



riSIIOP OF THE M. E. CIIUPX'IT, SOUTn. 97 



aj;;ii!i. lie irlU, dcur. I liiivc ronev.c;! my cover.ant for (lod to live 
and die. My uiiV', my children, my loved ones, my servants, all I 
lay on the altar of my (lod, and dedicate all to him. ^My mind is 
peacefnl and happy. I have a hinnl)le but stirc trust ti)at he will 
keep that wiru-h I liave i-ommitted to his care. 1 am very hap|)y in 
this faith. Yes, here away from you all, in the solitude of my little 
ujjper chamber, surrounded by strangers, and fre(iuently calling to 
mind your loved faces, I do feel supremely happy and resigned. I 
shall meet you here, and meet you in heaven. Wife, dear wife, let 
us have more faith in God's word, more trust. Several persons 
have examined the place and some witnessed the accident, and all 
agree that turning over the buggy when I did saved us, and are as- 
tonished that we were not killed anyhow. The secret of it is, the 
Lord protected us. His divine providence saved us. To him alone 
be the praise now and forever. Keep yourself cheerful and hai)py. 
My love to all. Yours foi-ever, E. Paine. 

Id eight or ten days after this accident he ^vrote again to 
his excellent Avife. He had been mending all the time. He 
■would be able to meet the Conference at Glasgow. He also 
receiv^ed many letters congratulating him and returning 
thanks to the All-Father for his preserving care. Among 
these letters Avas one of great tenderness from Dr. Bascom, 
in which he recognizes the special providence in his not 
being killed. 



98 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, B.D. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Legal Question — Tennessee Conference. 

ON October 9 lie left Danville for Glasgow.^ This, as the 
reader already kno^vs, Avas the anniversary of his conver- 
sion. He says: "This day thirty years ago God converted 
me. Thank God I have never ^villingly or vrickedly de- 
parted from him. O for more holiness and usefulness!" 
Thus was lie at each return of this anniversary expressing 
his gratitude to God and renewing his vows of consecra- 
tion. Down to the last of his long and useful life, this re- 
turn of this anniversary was remembered as the beginning 
of that life which had allied him so closely to God and his 
holy cause. 

On the 13th of October, 1847, the Louisville Conference 
began. The following question Avas settled by the Bishop: 
" William McCullen, a graduate of Trinity College, Dub- 
lin, and a presbyter of the Church of England, and of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States, for 
various reasons had resolved to surrender his letters of or- 
ders, and signified it to Bishop Smith, giving as his reasons: 
(1) His unwillingness to read sermons; (2) His rejection 
of the doctrine of the divine right of episcopacy ; (3) His 
unwillingness to be barred from communing with other 
orthodox Christians. And intending to become connected 
with some other Christian denomination, he delivered his 
parchments and was dismissed by the Bishop of the I*rot- 
estant Episcopal Church for the Diocese of Kentucky. 
Can he be received by us 'u\ orders?" Some of tlie preach- 
ers doubted. The Bishop decided that he could, and after 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. OIIURCIT, SOUTH. 99 

administering the vows of ordination gave him a certificate 
of elder's orders as a local preacher in the Methodist Epis- 
cojial Church, South. 

From Glasgow, Ky., he passed on by Nash vile, Tenn., 
to Murfrcesboro, the seat of the Tennessee Conference. 
This was his old Conference. He was met by members 
of his Cliurch with whom he had lived and labored in 
his early ministry. At the opening of the Conference 
he said: "I shall feel free to hold a steady rein j^resid- 
ing over this my old Conference. The business of the 
Church requires method, order, harmony. To accomplish 
this work will be my entire aim. Firmly, and in the feiir 
of God, I will do my Avhole duty. Help me." During 
this Conference a local preacher came up for reiidmission. 
Brother K. was a man of talents. He was a politician, and 
was a powerful man before the people. He had a very 
wide reputation, and he was recognized as one of the most 
formidable of all the Whig orators. Dr. J. B. McFerrin 
spoke in behalf of his admission. He said: "Mr. President, 
Brother K. and myself are the poles apart in politics." 
The Bishop interrupted him with these sharp and rather 
cutting words: "I am very sorry to hear you allude to your 
politics on this floor and in this presence. We do not bring 
politics into a Southern Methodist Conference." "Well, 
sir," replied Dr. McFerrin, "it is my right and privilege to 
refer to my politics anywhere when I can do so, as I do now, 
in the fear of God and for his glory. As I was saying, Broth- 
er K. and myself do not belong to the same political party. 
He is a zealous Whig ; I am a Democrat. In spite of all this, I 
am for him — separated in politics, we are one in Christ. In 
spite of violence of party spirit, we are one; and I shall vote 
for him with both hands raised. Religion, thank God, is 
above all political combinations, and this day shows itself 
the very essence of love. Still you must know that Brother 



100 LIFE OF KOBERT PAIXE, D.D. 

K. must be worthy, or I would not have made this speech. 
Let us all vote for him." So we did, and Brother K. was 
admitted with but little opposition. The Bishop's sharp 
rebuke was not only parried, but was made to sul)serve the 
best interests of the political preacher, and to bring him into 
the Conference. 

The Conference passed pleasantly. The Bishop presided 
with dignity, and to the satisfaction of all. To this Confer- 
ence he had the pleasure of introducing Dr. "Wadsworth, as 
his successor in the presidency of La Grange College, and 
commending him to his bretjiren as worthy of their confi- 
dence and support. 

His speech on reading out the appoiuments was just 
the kind we all expected. It was tender. It was manly. 
It was episcopal. It blended mildness and firmness, love 
for the preachers and devotion to the Church. It showed 
the full character of our shepherd as willing to lead in all 
the work of Christ. From IMurfreesboro he went by stage 
to Tuscumbia, and thence on to his home. He found all 
well, and on November 12 the flowers were still blooming. 
There had been no frost. Health and happiness, beauty 
and innocence, nature and art, neatness and industry and 
piety, all combined to make that home most delightful to 
the good Bishop, whose labors had been so great and whose 
valuable life seemed at one time to have come to a sudden 
and violent end. But God had more use for him in his 
vineyard, and had brought him again to his own loved 
ones at his own dear "sweet home." For all this he was 
so thankful that he not only acknowledged his gratitude 
around the family altar, but almost tearfully in his journal. 
When he thought of the exceedingly narrow escape that he 
had made from a sudden and violent death, and found him- 
self again at his own dear home with all the blessings of life 
around liiiu, his gratitude was unbounded. That home, al- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CnURCII, SOUTH. 



101 



,v.vs .0 dear to him, never seemed so lovely as now. Tn. 
ITer^rblooming so kte in the autumn seemed an on>en foL 
! d He always loved fio.ers, and now they seemed n,o 
gooa. xie J Their beautv and sweetness added to 

rS : rUe l^d'elpeeially so as they had heen 

J'nte and eultivated by the hand of his w.fe^ ^vho could 

yt the language of the wife of another B.shop: "I am 

happy in my husband, whether absent or present ; UU al- 

Shlppy in my God, ever present and always UukI to us 

'tftcr spending a few weeks with his femily, h= left home 
in Decenier foAhe remaining Conferenees He held the 
MiSts ppi at Canton, the Louisiana at Mmden the Ala- 
b^a a^Hontgomer,. He <^^ ^1^^^^^^;^ 

;: hese Ion: triiS overland, and in all sorts of eo,n-e - 
„°e,-from a stage-coaeh to a eommon road-wagon-he su 
ZIa nueh- but uneomplainingly and with determn,at>on 
: do h 1 ole duty, he brooked all the diffieult.es, and was 
S-er at his post. He did not get baek to h,s hon,e unt 

tein FeUuary. Here we shall leave hiu> to enjoy all 
'£ZSL o/that domestic circle until he starts on h,s 
round of duties in the fall of 1848. 



102 LIFE OF ROBEKT PAINE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Duty ix the Midst of Danger. 

AFTER holding the HolstoD Conference at Knoxville, 
the Tennessee at Clarksville, and the Memphis at Ab- 
erdeen, on the 4th of December, 1848, he left home at night, 
and in a stage-coach, for the Mississippi Conference. It was 
held at Jackson. The men of this Conference were under 
the leadership of one of the greatest minds on this conti- 
nent. Dr. William Winans, for native strength of intellect, 
for power to grasp any subject presented to him, for vigor 
of logic, and for command of pure Anglo-Saxon English, 
has not been surpassed in the history of Methodism. He 
was an intellectual giant. Then there was the godly and 
elegant Drake ; the fervid Campbell — the son-in-law of Mar- 
tin Ruter; the apostolic Jones; the eloquent Charles K. 
Marshall ; the venerable and sweet-spirited Lane, who always 
reminded me of Bishop Andrew, and had often been taken 
for him ; all of Avhom met him with cordiality, and gave him 
generous support. He met there his old friends and com- 
panions-in-arms. Dr. J. B.McFerrin and Dr. Stevenson, from 
Nashville. Dr. Charles B. Parsons was there, and preached 
his famous sermon in which he compared the different de- 
nominations to the different cars on a railroad drawn by 
the same engine and bound for the same port. Dr. Levings, 
the great Bible Agent, was also at this Conference, advo- 
cating the claims of the Holy Book. During the Confer- 
ence alarming reports were heard of cholera in New Or- 
leans and all along the Mississippi River. His next Con- 
ference was the Louisiana, and was to be held at Baton 
Rou£i;c, right in the cholera region. The visitors from Ken- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 



10 



(^•^ 



tuckv and Tennessee determined to return to their homes. 
A fearful panic prevailed. I happened just as this tm,e to 
be passini do.i. the Mississippi Kiver ^v.th my fom.ly, 
hound for Centenary College Even the eaga,„ of tie 
boat on ^vhieh ^ve were traveling left us at ^atdiez ami 
,vent back to his home and family ui Paducah Ivy. We 
erPadueah with a large number of passengei-s, but neariy 
„11 quit the hoat before .e reached Eaton Ko"g- ' °mo 
of the passengers bought ho..es and f -'-'! ^^^f ,*';^^ 
interior to their homes in Reynoldsburg, Tenn. I have 
Som, either before or since that time, seen a greater pa 
than existed all along the Mississippi River. That theie 
™^ lunds for it, there could be no doubt. People were 
S"i Orlea'ns by the thousands. The disease was 
yZ L\ On the night of our arrival at Jackson La., 
:7set d daughter, a sweet and beautiful litde gu- of nea 
eight years, was attacked with the disease, and ^f^ - ^^ 
short days we laid her away among strangei= in the lit !c 
kge cemetery beneath the shade of the -S-'- /^'^ 
Bishop heard of our great sorrow, and as I- !>«< ^"^^ e"^. 
her and alwavs loved her, he expressed m few but tei de 
ZZL sad, sad loss. In the midst of this panic wiich 
ei d all classes, he writes: "Excitement about cho era 
M^tr in, StarUs', Levings, and Stev.nson hesitating abou 
going to the Louisiana Conference. I go, of -">- . J ^ 
Ood in duty ' mv motto." He went. A perplexing case 
?ame up this Conference. It was: "What is the M^ 
Tl local elder whose character the a"-teHy " « 
Conference refused to pass?" The presiding eld > bad 
oided that the ministerial character was S"-;-^\^' ;;\* '^ 
elder must surrender his parchment. H/ ^^"^ ^^^ 
hv =ome of the most talented membei-s of the Conie.eiicc 
One"^ "By the refusal of the quarterly-meetmg Confe i- 
^retopass his character, his vitality as a minister is gone. 



104 LIFE OF EOBERT PAINE, D.D. 

Another urged: "The quarterly-meeting Conference has 
exclusive jurisdiction, and of course a refusal to pass the 
character of a local elder virtually deprives him of all his 
official functions." Just at this juncture the Bishop arose 
and said : " Brethren, I will not put the vote. It did not 
follow from a refusal to pass the character of this local 
elder that his credentials were to be given up, or that he 
vras indefinitely suspended. The presiding elder did right 
to examine his character, moral and official, but improperly 
jumped to his conclusion in demanding his credentials. He 
should have called on the Quarterly Conference to specify 
facts ; to do it in his presence, to admonish, reprove, or sus- 
Yieiid him, according to Iciio. If he had shov.n improper 
temper or performed actions improper, the Discipline points 
out the course and the law. But without charge, trial, or 
conviction, they refused to accredit him. The proceedings 
stopped too soon. All that the Quarterly Conference did 
was an implied censure, or censure direct, and does not nec- 
essarily work a forfeiture of his credentials. A local elder 
cannot be deprived of his credentials without a trial. This 
brother has had no such trial. There is no law for this 
course. He is still a local elder." To this decision he held 
the Conference, and vrould not allov/ a brother, vs'ithout a 
trial, to be deprived of his ministerial character. 

Before the Conference closed, he was attacked with strong 
symptoms of cholera. He was unable to read out the ap- 
pointments. He had spasms, and suffered so as to jiroduce 
cold, clammy sweats. Many v»erc dying of cholera. Col. 
Croghan, of the United States Army, died; and others 
were reported very ill. He got better, and although very 
feeble, went on board a boat bound for New Orleans. At 
the home of his old friend H. K. Yv^. Hill he became worse. 
Though weak and suffering, he writes: "This is indeed a 
strange providence, to stop me liere in the midst of danger. 



BISHOr OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. .105 

I do trust all without fear to God above. His will be done. 
Glory be to God, I can work or die as he wills. But O 
my wife, little ones, and servants! Must trust all. I do." 
But God had other work for him to do. After days of suf- 
fering and great feebleness, he was allowed by his excellent 
physician, Dr. Moss, to leave for the Alabama Conference, 
which was held at Greensboro, Ala., Jan. 21st, 1849. Here 
he heard of the death of Dr. Levings from cholera. He Vv-as 
a great and good man, and was in fine health when he parted 
from the Bishop after the adjournment of the Mississippi 
Conference. Immediately upon the adjournnient of the 
Alabama Conference, the Bishop left for home by stage. 
He found all v;ell. Here again he enjoyed in the bosom of 
his family that rest Avhich he so greatly needed. He had 
traveled and held Conferences, and been attacked with chol- 
era, and suffered so much as to make him feel that death 
v.as not remote. Pie never faltered. Do duty, even if duty 
led to the grave, was his great ruling principle. In accept- 
ing the episcopal office, he anticipated labor, self-denial, sep- 
aration from family and home ; but thus far his sufferings 
had far exceeded his anticipations. Duty alone prevented 
him from laying aside his robes of office and seeking privacy, 
quiet, and repose. But ever faithful to the calls of duty, to 
the dictates of an enlightened conscience, and to the require- 
ments of the Church which he loved better than life, he 
said to the tempter, "Get thee behind me, Satan," and cried 
out with David, "My heart is fixed, O Lord, my heart is 
fixed!" Again lie was happy in the bosom of his family; 
again he blessed the Providence that had given to liim a 
wife who com])ined just the qualities which the Avife of a 
traveling Bishop should have. She was strong, self-reliant, 
firm, and yet gentle, timid, refined, and modest almost to a 
fault. In his absence she ruled the family. At home, all 
yielded to licr wislies. A model housekeeper must have 



106 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

order, neatness, and industry in her home. Mrs. Paine had 
all this. The Bishop's home was a model of elegance and 
refinement. It was surrounded by the most beautiful flowers 
and shrubbery, tastefully selected and elegantly cultivated. 
Within, all was order and harmony. She had inherited 
her mother's capacity for governing. She was like her 
mother in both strength and gentleness of character, and 
soon made her husband feel that in his absence all would 
go well. So while he left his home always with regret, and 
returned to it with joy, he suffered no needless anxiety about 
its proper government while he v»'as absent. 



BISIIOr OF THK M. E. CllUnCII, SOUTH. 107 



CHAPTER XX. 

In the Great Vv'est— Returns Home. 

THE different rounds of Conferences were flir from being 
monotonous. If " variety is the spice of life," our Bishop 
certainly did not lack that element. He had spice enough 
and to spare. On the 19th of September, 1849, he left his 
home for the Missouri Conference. He Avent to Memphis, 
Tenn., by stage, and was soon on board a steamer for St. 
Louis. As usual on a Mississippi River steam-boat, there 
were many different characters among the passengers. 
Gamblers, desperate and vile, greatly annoyed the pious 
Bishop by their impudent blasphemy and insulting speech. 
In the darkness of the night, not far from Cairo, the boat 
struck a snag. It tore through the state-rooms. Some were 
scalded, and many narrowly escaped. The gamblers were 
much alarmed, and broke down the door of their state-room. 
Another attempted to jump into the river, and was caught 
by the Bishop and his life saved. The alarm and disorder 
were great. The boat was landed on a sand-bar, where they 
passed a horrid night. In all the excitement, the Bishop 
remained calm and undismayed. He encouraged and com- 
forted the terrified passengers, and was ready, as upon a for- 
mer occasion, to take command of the shattered vessel, and 
save, if possible, both passengers and crew. This proved 
not to be necessary, as they had a captain equal to the oc- 
casion. Without further accident, he arrived safe at St. 
Louis on the 23d of September. He preached in Centenary 
Church on the Sabbath to a large congregation. His text 
was the apostle's prayer, found in Ephesians, third chapter. 
He had liberty. He entered into the spirit of this wonder- 



108 LIFE OF ROBERT TAINE, D.D. 

ful prayer. The people ^vere stirred. A deep feeling pre- 
vailed throughout the large assembly. God was present. 
Good was done. At St. Louis was Thomas Capers, brilliant, 
jiious, evangelical ; and also Dr. J. H. Linn, then in the 
vigor of his young manhood, solid, strong, earnest. He was 
doing a great work then, and continued in energy, fidelity, 
and zeal for more than twenty-five years to preach the gos- 
pel and advance the Master's cause until 1877, when he 
passed to his reward. Yrhile holding the Missouri Confer- 
ence at Fulton, he was attacked with a sudden and severe 
sickness. The attack came ujDon him while he was preach- 
ing, and he was compelled to stop. He was scarcely able 
to ordain the deacons, and broke down completely while at- 
tempting to ordain the elders. Two physicians were called 
in and found his symDtoms alarmins:. His mind wandered. 
Fearful dreams and visions added to the alarm of his 
friends. He preached and prayed in the most frantic man- 
ner, and in the wildest delirium. He sav>' his wife die, his 
house on fire, and two of his children consumed in tlio 
flames. The disease was difficult to subdue, but after six or 
eight days yielded to the skill of his physicians and a kind 
Providence, and he went on as soon as he was able to attend 
the St. Louis Conference at JeflTerson City. The Conference 
had been in session for several days. He presided during 
the remainder of the session, but v>'as unable to preach. 
After Conference, he sent back his trunk and procured a 
horse and a real Methodist itinerant preacher's outfit, sad- 
dle-bags and all, and set out for the Indian Mission Confer- 
ence on a horse which he called " Gunpowder." Feeble as he 
was, he traveled from twenty to thirty-five miles a day. At 
one time, weary and worn, he laid down on the grass to rest. 
He )vritcs as he lay upon his back: "O how tired! Lord, 
help me to do and suflTer thy will." There vrere no roads. 
He had to travel along narrow paths, and got lost more than 



BTSiior OF THE i\r. e. churcit, south. 100 



once. At last, after a long route of more than three liiui- 
dred and fifty miles, he arrived at a mansion near Tahle- 
quah, the seat of the Conference. He had been lodging in 
cabins and hovels, but now he was in a palace. He slept 
on a bedstead which cost one hundred and fifty dollars. 
Every thing was splendid, and the more so because of the 
contrast with the humble fare which he had enjoyed during 
his long horseback ride. The family was kind ; the enter- 
tainment princely. The rest, so long needed, was most grate- 
fully enjoyed. He expresses it all in one word : " Resting." 
There is a whole volume in that word. Then follow two 
other words with which the reader is familiar: "Thank 
God ! " It is with these two emphatic words that he always 
expresses his gratitude to his Heavenly Father. He held 
the Conference, preached to the Indians, visited the mission- 
schools, and after doing all the work of an evangelist and 
of a Methodist Bishop, he left on "Gunpowder" for the 
East Texas Conferer.ce, to be held at Paris, Tex. Arriving 
at Paris in time, he held the Conference, made the mission- 
ary speech, preached and ordained deacons and ciders. He 
then had more than three hundred and fifty miles to travel 
on horseback to Austin, the seat of the West Texas Confer- 
ence. On the way, he was taken violently ill with a con- 
gestive chill. He called in a physician, who prescribed 
"heroic" doses of calomel, blue-mass, and quinine. He 
v>'ould take at night twenty grains of calomel, and then ten 
grains of quinine every few hours during the day. Through 
bogs and swamps on he traveled — so sick that he thought 
again and again death would be the result. He would have 
stopped, but he had no place at which he could stay. In 
the saddle, tired, sick, wasted, he traveled on through the 
prairies, over the hills, across the streams, until he arrived 
at Austin. Here he met his old Alabama friend Rev. 
Chauncy Richardson, one of the pioneer educators in the 



110 LIFE OF ROBERT PAIXE, D.D. 

Repu])lic of Texas. Here also he found his old Tennessee 
friend Dr. Alexander, Avhose name is so sacred to the Meth- 
odists of Texas. There were others there, brave and true, 
who gave to the sick Bishop all the support that warm- 
hearted, zealous Methodist preachers could give. Still sick, 
he left Austin for Houston, where he exjDCcted to take a boat 
for Galveston. In spite of the big doses of calomel and 
quinine, and in spite of the wear and tear of horseback 
travel, and a severe attack from one or two " Northers," he 
arrived at Houston in December. Here he took a boat for 
Galveston, and was soon on the Gulf for New Orleans. 
Arriving at Mobile on January 1, 1850, he heard from his 
wife for the first time since leaving home in September. 
Amid all his labors, dangers, sufferings, his heart had not 
been gladdened by one line from the loved ones at home — 
so uncertain were the mails in what we then called the Far 
West. At Mobile he learned that all were well at home, 
and went to hold the Alabama Conference in Columbus, 
Mississij^pi. 

On the 2d of February, 1850, Bishop Paine arrived at 
home after an absence of more than four months. They 
had been four of the hardest months of his toilsome life. 
He had been in the saddle quite an entire month — much of 
the time really too sick to be out of his house. He had 
traveled on horseback nearly a thousand miles, and he 
passed through all without one rebellious feeling, but with 
"Thy will be done " as the abiding sentiment of his apos- 
tolic heart. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. lH 



CHAPTER XXI. 

GenepvAL Conference-Cholera- Bascom-Excitement in 

THE East— Work— Bereavement. 
mi IE Second General Conference of the Methodist Episco- 
1 pal Church, South, was held at St. Louis, beginning on 
]May 1, 1850. Bishops Soule, Capers, Andrew, and Paine 
were all present. The Bishops' Address was prepared by 
Bishop Andrew, and was read at the opening of the Con- 
ference. Bishop Paine proposed the subject of organizing 
a system to bring local preachers more into the work. He 
also urged that a course of study be prescribed, and that 
the "standard for licensing and ordaining them be higher." 
The Conference was a brief one. At an early period of 
the session the cholera became epidemic in St. Louis, and 
many members of the Conference were attacked by it. 
Bishop Soule was taken very ill, and Rev. Isaac Bormg 
died. The Conference elected Henry B. Bascom Bishop, 
and, after attending to such other business as could not be 
postponed, adjourned on May 14. 

The Bishop left home for the Eastern Conferences on Oc- 
tober 31. As he passed through the Carolinas on his way 
to Yirdnia,he found great excitement prevailing in regard 
to the^ boundary between the North and South Carolina 
Conferences. The feeling was so deep that it gave the Bish- 
op the greatest anxiety. He had free and full conversa- 
tions with Dr. Summers, who, from his residence in Charles- 
ton knew all the points involved. He was a disinterested 
and wise counselor. At the North Carolina Conference 
Dr. Deems made a fiery speech, and Dr. Closs said he 
would fiiiht it out on his side to the bitter end. He had 



]12 LIFE OF EOBEr.T TATXE, D.D. 

lera-ncd largely of the merits of the case from passing 
through South Carolina and hearing all that the preachers 
of that Conference had to say on the subject. He decided 
on his course. It did not meet with the approbation of the 
North Carolina presiding elders. He referred it to the 
C inference. Supported by such men as Doub, Burton, H. 
G. Leigh, Bryant, and Carter, his plan ^vas carried through, 
and peace ^Yas restored. At the South Carolina Conference 
he found the brethren a *' little shy," but soon they went 
with him, and the border difficulty ended in fraternal greet- 
ings and universal peace. Such and so great is the jjovrer 
of a man in authority to control the bitterness of strife and 
to enjoy the benediction of all good people, and of Him who 
said, "Blessed are the peace-makers." 

The Virginia Conference was held in Richmond. On his 
way, he iDreached in the Washington Street Church, Peters- 
burg, to an immense crowd on " Walking with God." In 
this church he was ordained Bishop in May, 1846. He 
writes: "Thank God, I hope I have done nothing to dis- 
grace my office; but alas! how imperfectly have I filled 
it! It almost killed me to be ordained, and I have found 
the office even more laborious and difficult than I expected; 
but He knows I neither sought nor wanted it, and I look to 
Iiini for help in every emergency. And blessed be His holy 
name, hitherto He has helped me." During this Confer- 
ence he enjoyed sweet communion Avith that noble layman 
DArcy Paul, of whom he says: "This is one of the best, 
wealthiest, and most liberal men in the Church. He makes 
it his business to get money to give away, and he does give 
it li])erally." After the Virginia Conference, he returned 
through the Carolinas, and held the Georgia Conference at 
Savannah. It was the middle of January, 1851. He was 
extremely anxious to return home. Tlie condition of his 
family seemed to deuand it. His wife was sick, and he 



risiior OF THE m. e. ciiuncii, south. 



It: 



felt that he ought to be with her. Besides, he himself was 
not well. Hc^had several chills, and was suffering greatly 
v.ith his head. At one time it seemed that he was border- 
ing on apoplexy. He was perfectly conscious of his condi- 
tio^li, and felt that he needed rest. The Florida Conference 
was still to be held. He sought, through Dr. William H. 
Ellison, son-in-law of Bishop Capers, and Dr. George F. 
Pierce, to secure the services of Bishop Andrew. But 
Bisliop Andrevf could not go. He enters in his journal : 
"Never hated to go worse; but 'tis duty, and I go." A 
son had been born on January 1, and it was now the 20th; 
and he would have been less or more than human not to 
have desired greatly to see both mother and son. But " 't is 
duty, and I go." He went, held the Conference, met Bish- 
ops'Capers and Andrew at I^Jacon, Ga., on his return, and 
arranged with them the plan of Conferences and appropria- 
tions. He did not get back to his home until February 6. 
In a short time that home was saddened by the death of 
his eldest son, John E. Beck. John was a promising young 
physician. He was converted while a student at Emory 
College, Georgia. He was a consistent Christian, and he 
talked most beautifully on his death-bed. He had a vision 
of his mother. She came to him in "radiant glory," and 
said to him: "My son, prepare to meet the judgment. 
Meet me in heaven." Then, turning to his step-mother, he 
said: "O ma, you have been a dear, good mother to me. I 
would like to live, but I am not afraid to die." The Bishop 
had dedicated him to God from his infancy, and was ever 
so hopeful of his future. He was a gentleman and a Chris- 
tian, and his death was most beautiful. His father was with 
him, and witnessed the triumphs of that fiiith which he 
had been preaching for more than the third of a century. 
After recounting the circumstances of his death, he utters 
these exprccive words: "O tliat I may meet him in heaven! 
8 



114 LIFE OF EGBERT PAINE, D.D. 

I shall." He uttered no rebellious Avord. He indulged no 
murmuring spirit. He bowed to Him who doeth all things 
well, meekly j^raying, "Thy will be done." His tour of 
Conferences, as he strongly designates them, began with the 
Western Virginia in September, 1851. He presided then 
at the Kentucky, Louisville, Tennessee, Mississippi, and 
Louisiana. These were all pleasant sessions, and his health 
was better than usual. At the Mississippi Conference, Dr. 
William Winans was compelled by the state of his health to 
ask a supernumerary relation. He was not more than sixty 
years of age. It w^as not, then, the infirmities of old age 
but a severe bronchial affection which made the request 
necessary. He stated the case himself to the Conference 
in a modest, manly way. He stated his belief that the 
days of his efficiency were passed. He feared that he 
would never be able to take regular work again. He 
bowed cheerfully to the will of God. In the Mississippi 
Conference he had spent the vigor of his youth and the 
prime of his manhood. He had enjoyed the largest confi- 
dence of his brethren, for which he was deeply grateful. 
He hoped the Conference could readily grant a request 
which nothing but inability to do fall work could have 
forced him to make. Saying this, he left the Conference- 
room. Before putting the vote as to granting his request, 
the Bishop said : " Brethren, this request affects me greatly. 
It pains me beyond measure to hear my old friend declare 
his inability longer to do effective service. Time has been 
when William Winans Avould have been gladly welcomed 
to any station in the Church, He was capable of filling 
any place. In intellectual power he has no superior in the 
Church, North or South. He indulges now in no nnirmur. 
He is satisfied. He retires so gracefully, so uncom])laining- 
ly as to excite my highest admiration. I have seen old men 
retire most ungraciously, uttering tli4Mr conqjlaints as to 



BISIIOr OF Tin: M. E. CIIUKCII, fc^OUTII. 115 

■want of appreciation by the Church and their hard lot in 
being cast off in old age. Dr. Winans never appeared 
grander than he does to-day. I have been -with him in 
General Conference ^vhen he shone like the sun at midday 
in cloudless splendor. He ^vas then the peer of any man on 
this continent. To-day he reminds me of the setting sun. 
He still shines in full-orbed splendor, his round of rays 
complete. The light may not be so dazzling, but its mellow 
radiance touches the tenderest sensibilities, and assures us 
that when the clouds of death shall gather they will be 
gilded with holy light, filling us with the assurance that 
death itself cannot quench the brightness of a luminary 
which shall shine forever, undimmed by the clouds of 
death. Of course you will grant the request of Dr. Wi- 
nans." The request was granted amid as deep feeling as 
was ever witnessed probably on any similar occasion. 

From the Mississippi Conference he passed by Centenary 
College, and remained a few days, blessing the ftimily of 
the Avriter with his presence, his pious counsels, and his wise, 
cheerful Christian conversation. He told us much of the 
labors and difficulties of his office. He spoke with intense 
admiration of the devoted wife from whom duty compelled 
him to be absent so much. Her firmness, her self-denial, 
her womanly character so highly developed, and so consci- 
entiously meeting the responsibilities of her position rs wife 
and mother, were spoken of with the highest appreciation. 
All this had greatly sustained him during weeks and 
months of absence. He could trust all to the prudence, 
the constancy, the decision, and the deep piety of a m.cst 
devoted and uncomplaining wife. 

■ The Louisiana Conference was held at Thibodeauville. 
Without his knowing it, three of the members v^'ere to sit 
with him on the episcopal bench. Holland N. ^McTyeire 
was at this time stationed, at the Felicity Street Church, 



IIG LIFE OF rvOCEKT PAINE, D.D. 

Kew Orleans, and editor of the Ncv\' Orleans Christian 
Advocate. He was already making a deep impression on 
the Conference and the Church. He Avielded a powerful 
2)cn. His style, original, terse, strong, and elegant in sim- 
plicity, was attracting wide attention and large apprecia- 
tion. John C. Keener was among the most influential 
members of the body. Calm, prudent, discriminating, with 
a wonderful accuracy in judging character, a successful 
pastor, and a capital preacher, he had done as much in ad- 
vancing Methodism in the Crescent City as any one who 
had ever been sent to that important and yet most difficult 
work. Then, he had Linus Parker, cjuite a young man, 
but a rising young man. And I believe that the Bishop 
ordained him as deacon at that Conference. It is certain 
that he was ordained by Bishop Paine as deacon, elder, and 
then Bishop. Thus ordained by the laying on of hands of 
the same Bishop, he must have felt a strange reverence for 
his venerable colleague. A storm of unusual feeling arose 
during the session of the Conference. It originated in a 
debate between two of the most prominent members of the 
Conference. I was alarmed, and to cut' off" debate moved 
the previous question, which Brother Keener seconded. 
Dr. Thweatt, a venerable member, arose and complimented 
tlie disputants on the great light thrown upon the subject, 
but regretted that the light was attended by so nmch heat. 
The Bishop pronounced my motion out of order. He 
calmly held the reins, and he alone seemed perfectly self- 
possessed. He knew the belligerents, and was assured their 
Christian princii^les would allay the perturbation produced 
by the collision in debate. By his prudence, self-control, 
and sweet Christian spirit, he soon calmed the storm, and all 
was peace again. He showed himself what he was — a Meth- 
od ist Bishop, clotlied with great authority, and exercising it 
for the glory of God and the good of the Church. 



Bisiior OF THE M. E. ciiurtCir, south. il7 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Long Absence — Death Abp^oad and at IIo?.ie — Poaveiiful 

Preaching. 

IN 1852 he presided over the Conferences in Missouri, In- 
dian Territoiy, Arkansas, and Texas. Ke left home in 
September, and did not get back until February, 1853. He 
had the company of Dr. Sehon through a good portion of 
this trip. The Doctor was the most courtly of gentlemen, 
and an earnest, zealous, and eloquent preacher, but he was 
not at all used to the hardships of a pioneer life. The 
Bishop enjoyed his company, and did all to encourage him. 
Horseback riding was any thing but pleasant to the Doctor, 
and he was not prepared for the rough usage to which tlie 
Bishop had become accustomed. After the Indian Mission 
Conference they separated, and the Bishop continued on 
through Arkansas and Texas. At one of these Conferences 
lie was again taken very ill, and liad to leave the chair with 
a severe chill upon him. He arose from a sick-bed on tlie 
Sal)bath to ordain deacons and elders. On one of these 
trips he was almost sure to be sick. This time he suflered 
" with chills, spasms of the intercostal muscles, very sore 
chest, ribs drawn up a.s if corded, slow pulse," etc. He 
would spend a night sleepless and suffering, and travel in 
a road-wagon or cariole all the next day. So he did not 
miss a Conference. He had time, too, to sympathize with 
others. While traveling with Brother Whipple, of the 
Texas Conference, a report sadder than any ordinary death- 
wail came to the travelers that Brother Whipple's son had 
been drowned, and that his body could not be found. He 
gave to his afflicted brother the tendercst sympathies, and 
expressed the hope that the report might be false. Upon 



118 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

their arrival at Bastrop, the seat of the Conference, they 
found the report too true. The father was OYerwhclmed, 
and the distress was increased by the loss of the body. On 
the first day of the Conference the body was found, and the 
Conference adjourned to attend the funeral of Wilbur Scott 
Whipple. The Bishop officiated, and gave great comfort to 
the family by his tender Christian counsel and sweet words 
of consolation, so radiant in our holy religion. As he re- 
turned to the laborious duties of the Conference at two 
o'clock P.M., lie simply wrote in his diary: "Sleep on, 
sweet one." Soon after his arrival at home, he was called 
to suffer another great bereavement in the death of his 
brother-in-law. Dr. Felix Manning. He died, saying: 
"Bless the Lord, O my soul! Glory to God!" Of this 
excellent man he says: "Dr. George Felix Manning was 
among my dearest and most loved friends. A noble-hearted, 
intelligent Christian gentleman, with as much purity, con- 
sistency, and magnanimity as any one I have ever known. 
His closing scene tender beyond description ; committed his 
family to me. Glory to God! he is safe. I v.ill join him. 
May God bring us and all our families to unite in heaven 
together forever! He will." A deeper Christian experi- 
ence, a more thorough resignation to the Divine Avill, and a 
holier trust in Him to whom he had committed all things, 
mark the Christian character of Bishop Paine from year to 
year. He seldom passed the anniversary of his birth with- 
out a most devout recognition of the Divine power and a 
reconsecrating of himself to God. Gratitude fills his heart 
all the time. Love for the Church and the Master's cause 
constantly inspires him. He continually prays for more 
purity and fervor. He says : " Methodism is right. All we 
need is to stich closer to it in doctrine and discipline. I 
want no change. The neglect of the General llules and 
class-meetings, family and ^Jrivate religion, is cause of great 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CIIUKCIT, SOUTH. Ill) 

fear, and constitutes our greatest fault." His love for the 
Church continued to grow upon him. He forgot nothing 
that concerned its highest interests. Among his regrets at 
leaving home was that of losing, as he feared, some of that 
influence which he wished to exert upon the family circle. 
Religion in the family was the only hope for the Church 
and the world. It was the salt which must never lose its 
savor. It was the light which must shine out constantly 
and brightly from Christian homes. Neglect of family re- 
ligion he deprecated as one of the greatest evils that could 
befall the Church. In September, 1853, he again leaves 
his family and home for the Eastern division of Conferences. 
He resigns home, wife and children, and all earthly inter- 
ests, for Christ's sake and for souls. He presided at the Hol- 
ston, Virginia, North, and South Carolina, Georgia, Ala- 
bama, and Florida Conferences. His health was better than 
usual. He preached at every Conference, and often in the 
intervals. During this trip he preached again in Washing- 
ton Street Church, Petersburg, Va., in which he was or- 
dained Bishop. His text was: "If any man love not the 
Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema marauatha." 
This was a favorite text with him. In discussing it he was 
often sublimely eloquent. He delighted to show the loveli- 
ness of the character of the Lord Jesus. Character-paint- 
ing was often a strong and striking feature of his best ser- 
mons. To paint the character of the blessed Master was a 
part of his divine mis,sion. Jesus was lovely in his inno- 
cence, in his benevolence, in his activity, in his entire un- 
selfishness. He illustrated the condition of the world by a 
city whose water supply was cut off. The inhabitants were 
dying of thirst. Not a drop of water in all the city. All 
alike in the palace and in hovels; the rich and the poor 
were suffering untold agonies. Lips were parched and 
tongues without moisture. The skin was shriveling and the 



120 LIFE OF nOBERT FAINE, D.D. 

blood itself drying up for wcdit of water. Then he had a 
benevolent engineer, coming as by magic, opening the j^ipes 
and sending supplies of cool, limpid water to every home, 
along every street, and restoring life to thousands of fam- 
ishing people. The praise of such a man would be upon 
every tongue and in every heart. It would not be hard to 
love one possessed of such benevolence and bestowing such 
ble&sings upon a dying people. Such was the character of 
Christ. He found the world dvins; for the vrater of life — 
all supplies had been cut oft. He oj^ened a fountain pure, 
fresh, and inexhaustible. He said, 'Ho every one that 
thirsteth, come ye to the waters.' Vv^ill ye not love him? 
Ought he not to be loved ? Love — deep, constant, and pure 
— is all he asks in return, kr'ooner let my tongue cleave to 
the roof of my mouth than it should cease to speak his 
praise. Love him? Yes, bretlircn, I will love him with 
all my heart. Join me in this love to the best, truest, 
and most unselfish Friend that man ever had." Then 
he closed that sc-rmon with an appeal such as I cannc^t 
even try to reproduce. He seemed to stand upon Sinai. 
His countenance shone like that of Mcses. His words 
burned. The curse from God was portrayed v,ith all the 
power of sacred oratory. He seen:ied inspired. IMunscy, 
in his descriptioii of the lost soul, did not surpass his fiery 
clocjuence. God's fearful and deserved curse — blighting all 
happiness, destroying all hope, and pouring upon the ac- 
cursed ingrate all the anathemas of a violated law — was de- 
scribed in thoughts that breathed and words that burned. 
AYhen thus preaching, he seemed a very apostle of God, as 
he was. The usual routine of work of the Conferences was 
performed, with nothing which he regarded as v^orthy of 
special notice in his diary. He got back to his home at an 
earlier period than usual, and was rejoiced to find all in 
good health and happy to welcome him. 



lilSllOP OF THE M. K. CilURCII, SOUTH. ] 21 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

Third General Conference — New Bisiiors— Eejioval of 
La Grange College. 

TN May 1854, the third General Conference of the Meth- 
1 oclist Episcopal Church, South, was held at Columbus, Ga. 
It was found necessary to increase the number of Bishops 
by the addition of three members. George F. Pierce, of 
Georgia; Hubbard H. Kavanaugh, of Kentucky; and John 
Early, of Virginia, were added to the Episcopal Board. Of 
these the youngest was George F. Pierce. He was the son 
of Dr. Lovick Pierce, and a favorite son of Georgia. He 
vras possessed of wonderful magnetism. His eloquence at- 
tracted large crowds wherever he v.ent. Of handsome 
person, radiant countenance, commanding talents, he was 
doubtless tlie most popular man of his age in the Connec- 
tion. His election gave universal satisfaction. H. H. 
Kavanaugh had long been a favorite in Kentucky. On 
some occasions he astounded the people by his wonderful 
pulpit eloquence. He had a fine voice, and when excited 
liis language seemed to be inspired as it conveyed to en- 
tranced hearers thoughts at once original, striking, and 
brilliant. His piety was of a high order, and his fitness for 
the office of a Bishop lacked but one element, which he 
never professed to have. He had no special talent for pre- 
siding or conductinfT the business of a Conference. But his 
power in a pulpit and his pure Christian life always made 
him acceptable and popular. John Early was known to 
possess one of the finest business minds in the Church. He 
had been one of the best presiding elders in the Old Domin- 



122 LIFE OP R0l5ER'r TAINE, D.D. 

ion. He could couduct financial matters well, and had been 
a succcvs-sful Book Agent. He was growing old, and was the 
choice of Virginia, whose people he had served half a century. 

In the fall of 1854 Bishop Paine held the Louisville, Ten- 
nessee, Memphis, and Arkansas Conferences. He records 
nothing of special moment as occuring at these Conferences 
except the step taken at the Tennessee Conference to re- 
move La Grange College to Florence, Ala. " The propo- 
sition was to pay all the debts, erect superior buildings, and 
assure both local patronage and a paying endowment of ten 
thousand dollars." ^'^ Bishop Paine had spent some of the 
best days of his manhood in connection Avith this college. 
He had groaned over it and labored for it. He loved the 
mountain, and never tired of the beautiful scenery to be en- 
joyed from its summit. The proposition was so liberal that 
he could not oppose it. Dr. A. L. P. Green saw at once 
the propriety of accepting the proposition, and offered a 
resolution instructing the Board to remove. The ofFer was 
to give better buildings, pay all the debts, and give an en- 
dowment of about forty thousand dollars, and to assure a 
local patronage larger than vras then enjoyed from both, 
home and foreign patronage. The removal, I have reason 
to know, met with the cordial approbation of Bishop Paine, 
and was indeed the very best thing that could have been 
done. The college more than doubled its patronage in less 
than one year. It continued to flourish until the interne- 
cine war broke it down. It is now, as elsewhere stated 
in this biography, the State Normal College of Alabamji, 
and is still doing a great and good work in the cause of ed- 
ucation. 

On this round of Conferences he passed nenr the old 
homestead in Giles county, Tennessee. He visited the 

*Tliis was tlie note in his diary. Tlic ofler was forty thousand 
dolhirs. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CnURCII, SOUTH. 1 23 



graves of his father and mother. Alouc, \vith a train of 
feelings so mingled as not to be described, he knelt and 
prayed by the graves of those dear loved ones: "O that I 
may meet these dear, precious parents in heaven ! " Before 
he had fairly finished his entire round of Conferences, he 
was shocked by the sudden death of his colleague, Bishop 
Capers. They had been life-long friends. Together they 
had worked for the cause of the Master for many years; 
together they had taken the solenni vows of Methodist 
Bishops. He had long honored Bishop Capers as being the 
leader in the great eflbrt made by the Southern Methodist 
Church to Christianize the negroes. He had always ad- 
mired the spotless character of the great South Carolinian, 
and he was much grieved by his death. A purer, truer 
man than Bishop William Capers never occupied the epis- 
copal office. Educated when but few of our ministers were 
blessed with a liberal education ; a doctor of divinity when 
no other Southern Methodist preacher was so honored; a 
missionary to the negroes, and giving them sound yet simjile 
Biblical iiistruction in Sabbath-schools, when fierce fanatics 
were pouring abuse upon him for being connected with 
slavery ; a preacher of great simplicity and purity of diction 
and of much evangelical power; a fervent and fiiithful mis- 
sionary to the Indians before their removal Avcst of the 
Mississippi Kiver ; and withal a man of deep piety and sweet 
gpii^it—Bishop Capers passed away from us much lamented 
by the whole Church, and by no one more than by Bishop 
Paine, who had loved and admired him all his life. 
Through the iniluence of Bishop Paine, when presiding over 
La Grange College, the presidency of that institution was 
offered to Dr. Capers. He did not accept the office, muc]i 
to the regret of President Paine, who thought him better 
fitted for the office than himself I mention this fact to 
show the life-long appreciation of his colleague by Bishop 



124 LIFE OF EGBERT PAINE, D.D. 

Paine, Then, they vrere consecrated together to their sacred 
office; and this of course produced sympathy between them. 
He Avas the second of the Southern Bishops to be called 
home. A good man, "full of the Holy Ghost and full of 
faith." He ^tas ready for the summons. Without one 
shrinking feeling, but with holy triumph, this Christian 
Bishop met the last enemy, and all through the grace of 
the Lord Jesus Christ. In a few brief years Br<scom and 
Capers had passed array. They were very unlike. Bas* 
com was vehement. Capers was gentle. Eascom was terri- 
ble as the storm. Capers was mild as the zephyr. Bascom 
was a son of thunder, and the lightning played around his 
head ; Capers was as gentle as a lamb, and always touched 
the tenderest sensibilities of human nature. Both were 
embassadors of Christ, and hj*d credentials from Heaven ; 
but Bascom commanded, Capers persuaded. Bascom often 
left his congregations dazed and overwhelmed; Capers al- 
ways left his tender, subdued, melted. The death of each 
was unexpected. They were both life -long friends of 
Bishop Paine. He loved them both, and admired and ap- 
2:)reciatcd them, and deeply lamented tlie death of each as 
of a brother beloved. Bascom died in the very beginning 
of his work in the episcopal office, and before he had devel- 
oped his character either in the chair or in the cabinet. 
Bishop Capers had been on his rounds since 1846, and was 
universally regarded as a polished shaft in Jehovah's quiv- 
er. He may not have been as able as others in the interpre- 
tation of law, or in the power to preserve order, but in all 
the elements of pure Christian character — meekness, truth, 
justice, and purity — he was equal to the very best. 

Bishop Paine's round of Conferences for 1855 embraced 
Kentucky, Western Virginia, Louisville, Tennessee, Mem- 
phis, and Holstipn. He gives no account of what occunxd 
at any of these (-onferenccs. He sim])ly records ihv fat t 



BISIIOr OF THE JI. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 125 



above stated. I suppose he attended all these ConfercDces 
and presided over tlieni. It is certain he did so unless pre- 
vented by sickness. We have seen that Avlien sick and 
Avorn with labor and travel he would persist in doing the 
"Nvork assigned him. The work in the East was becoming 
less laborious, owing to the increased facilities for travel. 
This was grateful to the feelings and added greatly to the 
comfort of the Bishop, now nearly sixty years of age. 



126 LIFE OF FvOBEKT PAINi:, D.D. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

Education in Alabama — The Southern University — Prov- 
idence — Perils — Law. 

EARLY in the year 1855, Alabama Methodism became 
intensely excited on the subject of education. The 
question was, Two colleges, or one? The contest ended in 
the establishment of two — one located at Auburn, in East 
Alabama, and the other at Greensboro, in the western por- 
tion of the State. Bishop Paine was called to preside over 
the Board of Trustees of the Southern University to be es- 
tablished at Greensboro. His love for the Church, his 
large experience in the work of education, his extensive ac- 
quaintance with the educators of the South, his great cau- 
tion and prudence, admirably fitted him to preside over the 
deliberations of a body then undertaking the grandest 
Church enterprise in connection with education ever at 
that time begun in the South. After the erection of suit- 
al)le buildings, and the purchase of libraries, fixtures, etc., 
needed for a university of high order, it was found that 
they would have an endowment of more than two hundred 
thousand dollars. This was the best showing that had ever 
been made by Methodism in connection with her education- 
al enterprises. The Board met for the first time on March 
17, 1856. It was composed of men able, liberal, and true. 
Bishop Andrew, far-seeing and trustworthy; Dr. Summers, 
learned and cautious ; Dr. Hamilton, then the Nestor of Ala- 
bama IMethodism ; Dr. Wadsworth, pure, gentle, yet firm and 
experienced ; Dr. Mitchell, with a character stately and ma- 
jestic; and Dr. Neely, eloquent and enthusiastic, were among 



BISHOr OF THE M. E. CIIUIKII, SOUTH. 127 

the iiiiiii^tcrs in that body. Then the enterprising and lib- 
eral De Yanipert, the nol)le and statesmanlike Baker, the 
gifted Erwin, Avere among the laymen in that Board, to 
which was committed this great educational interest. To 
use a favorite expression of Dr. Summers's, they deter- 
mined to make haste slowly. It was thought best not to 
open the doors of the university until they were ready. 
Bishop Paine's greatest fear was that dormitories might be- 
come necessary. To them he was conscientiously opposed. 
He had seen the evils resulting from placing boys in bar- 
racks, or dormitories, away from family influence. God had 
organized the family. Its influence Avas needed to restrain, 
to exalt, to save young men and boys from contracting 
lov\-, vicious habits. He believed that boys at school should 
become domesticated in refined and well-ordered families. 
He was sure that deprived of the influence of mothers and 
sisters, and with the hand of no pure, gentlewoman to lead 
them, they would be in danger of becoming demoralized, 
and of going astray. So the dormitory system, as it was 
then called, was not adopted. 

On his return home he went by Mobile, and taking a 
steamer there started up the river. The boat struck a 
snag, and sunk in less than twenty miles from the city. 
Several persons v>'ere drowned. The Bishop says: "Our 
escape was marvelous. God preserved us." He was but 
slightly hurt, but lost upward of seven hundred dollars by 
the disaster. He was a strong believer in special provi- 
dence. In all the disasters, both on land and water, which 
seemed to threaten his life, he universally attributed his 
preservation to Divine Providence. The sinking of the 
Iioat at night, accompanied by the loss of every thing on 
board, and by the dr(j\vning of several persons, was certain- 
ly an alarming event. It was wonderful that more lives 
were not lost. That he was saved with but slight injuries 



128 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

caused him to bow in humble gratitude to his Heavenly 
Father and reconsecrate himself to his service. 

On October 9, 1856, he left home on his fourth tour of 
Western Conferences. This was the anniversary of his 
conversion. "It was on October 9, 1817, God forgave my 
sins. Praise him ! It is a great cross to leave home to bo 
gone so long, and so far away. I never desired the office of 
a Bishop, and but for love to Christ would not be one. This 
is to be a hard trip — am almost sick on it. Came near dy- 
ing twice on this same trip. I ivill go for Christ's sake. 
Am ready to suffer, or if need be, to die on my work. 
Precious ones at home, farewell ! So sweet a place I shall 
not soon see again. God guard us all." Such was the 
touching entry he made in his diary on .his departure for 
this most laborious tour. He again passed through the In- 
dian Territory, in company with his old friend Dr. E. W. 
Sehon. They underwent the usual hardships and trials. 
At a very indifferent Indian tavern, at vrhich they were 
compelled to pass the night. Dr. Sehon became very anx- 
ious and suspicious. It seemed to him that some of the 
guests were prowling around with no good intentions. He 
suggested to the Bishop that their lives were in dunger. 
The countenances, vrhisperings, and general deportment of 
these men certainly foreboded no good. They would leave 
the house, and after apparent consultation would return as 
if bent upon mischief The Bishop felt that they were 
really in the jwwer of ruffians, but he remained perfect- 
ly calm, went to bed and slept well. The Doctor kept 
watch during the whole night. In the morning they 
were both thankful that a merciful Providence had 
guarded them from all danger, and that they were safe in 
his hands. 

From the Indian Mission Conference they Avcnt over 
rough roads, and 1)y conveyances both public and private, 



r.rsiior of tiiio m. i:. church, south. 12!) 

aud of various kinds, to the Texas Conference, held at Wa- 
co; thence, in a siniihir manner, to the West Texas Con- 
ference, held at Gonzales. After holding the Western Tex- 
as Conference they left in a stage-coach for Richmond, and 
thence by railroad to Harrisburg at which place they took 
a stcam-lx)at for Galveston. During this round of Confer- 
ences he had passed through unusual perils. Just before 
starting, the boat upon which he was traveling had sunk, 
and he had lost over seven hundred dollars. On the trip 
he had been robbed of one hundred and fifty dollars. He 
could truthfully apply to himself the Avords of the great 
Apostle to the Gentiles : " In journeyings often, in perils of 
waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by the heathen, in per- 
ils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in weariness and 
painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst. Be- 
sides those things that are without, that Avhich cometh upon 
me daily, the care of all the churches." I do not desire by 
any means to exaggerate his dangers, trials, and sufferings 
on this long and exposed route, but according to these 
brief entries in his diary, the quotation taken from St. 
Paul can be literally and truly applied to Bishop Paine 
on this lonn; and dangerous tour. At the Conferences he 
was always treated with princely hospitality. The danger 
was in passing through a wild country from one Conference 
to another. Among his brethren he had every attention, 
and wanted for nothing. No man could have been more 
thankful than he was for the generous hospitality extended 
to him whenever he met either ministers or members of the 
Church. He felt, however, that he owed his safety to th-e 
special providence of God. After this long trip, he arrived 
safe, happy, and grateful at his own dear home, on Jaiiuary 
22, 1857. 

In 1857, he held the Memphis Conference at Holly 
Springs. Here he was again taken very ill, and was alto- 
9 



130 LIFE OF ROBERT FATNE, D.D. 

gether unable to preach, and was scarcely able to perform 
the services of ordhiation. It is always an affliction for the 
Bisho]) to be unable to preach at Conference. The people 
expect it, and few of our preachers are willing to stand in 
the Bishop's place jupt for that one responsible hour. jNEany, 
of course, could fill the office permanently, and would bo 
willing to do so at the call of the Church. At this Confer- 
ence there was at least one man who could have occupied 
the episcopal chair and filled the puljoit both with credit 
to himself and honor to the Church, and good to the people. 
That man was G. W. D. Harris, of precious memory. He 
was a man of rare powers. His elocution was well-nigh 
perfect. His articulation was distinct, his manner graceful, 
his matter deep, sound, and evangelical, and his appearance 
disrnified and commandins:. Back of all this Avas a char- 
acter solid as granite, and as pure as solid. To him was 
committed the task of filling the pulpit in place of the 
Bishop. Of course he did his wT^rk like an apostle, yet it 
was a disappointment that the Bishop could not do his own 
work. He enters in his journal: "Sorry that I am not able 
to do my duty." At this Conference some legal questions 
of imjiortance were decided. Among them, this: "Upon 
the reference by the preacher of the trial of a member to 
the Quarterly Conference, should the Conference adjudicate 
the case, or consider it w^itli regard to the propriety of re- 
manding it?" The answer of the Bishop was: "The Con- 
stitution of the Church guarantees the right of trial and 
appeal. The General Conference cannot take away that 
right, directly or indirectly. Therefore, the expulsion by 
the Quarterly Conference of a member acquitted by the so- 
ciety, as it cuts off appeal, is unconstitutional and void. 
The^Quarterly Conference may advise or order a new trial, 
but cannot ex})el, unless the defendant appeals from the de^ 
cision of tlie lower court. He has no appeal if the Quarter- 



BTSIIOr OF THE M. K. C'lIURCIT, SOUTH. 131 

ly Conference try him before he appeals. It is always saf- 
est to construe the law so as not to conflict with the consti- 
tution."' I have given this decision of the Bishop because 
it shows not only a clear knowledge of constitutional law, 
but because it shows his sense of justice and regard for char- 
acter. His rule was that no man could be expelled from 
the Church without a trial by his peers. Whether layman 
or minister, he had the inalienable right of trial before ex- 
pulsion. 

He also held the South Carolina Conference, at Char- 
lotte, North Carolina. He delivered the missionary ad- 
dress at this Conference, and with great success. On such 
occasions he was at times surpassingly grand. He was so 
at this Conference. As the result, a very large missionary 
collection was raised, many giving fifty dollars apiece. Plis 
eloquence warmed the hearts, melted the sympathies, and 
caused these deep feelings to manifest themselves in rich 
gifts laid upon God's altar. Thence he passed into Colum- 
bia, South Carolina, and was there at the commencement of 
the college over which his old friend Dr. A. B. Longstreet 
was presiding. The Legislature was also in session^ and he 
had a delightful week of rest, and innocent social and intel- 
lectual recreation. 

The Georgia Conference, over which he presided, was 
held this year, at Washington, Georgia. Here he met 
Bishop Pierce, and his father, Dr. Lovick Pierce, with both 
of whom he enjoyed himself greatly. He mentions the 
session of the Conference as one of the most pleasant he had 
ever attended. 

He also visited Macon, Georgia, the seat of the first col- 
lege for young ladies that was ever chartered. His oldest 
daughter was there, and had recently been happily convert- 
ed. The visit was a joyous one to both. He rejoiced in 
heart-felt experimental religion. He had experienced it, 



132 LIFE OF ROBERT RAIXE, D.D. 

and ahvays recurred ^vith joy and gratitude to liis own con- 
version, lie Avas a deeply experienced Christian, and grow- 
ing more so as the years advanced. The regeneration of 
tlie heart, by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, vras ever witli 
him a cardinal doctrine. AVe have seen liim in his early 
ministry talking to mourners and leading them to Christ. 
As he became a presiding elder, and then as president of a 
college, and afterward as Bishop of the Church, he con- 
tinued to impress this divine truth upon all who heard him. 
He never felt that it v/as beneath any man in any vocation 
to seek and find, and enjoy with all the rapture of a con- 
verted soul, the witness of the Holy Spirit. He never 
doubted his own conversion. He ever rejoiced that he was 
a sinner saved by grace. The happy conversion of liis 
daughter Avas a benediction to hiin, and he records it with 
gratitude. 

Since beginning to vrrite this book, I have received a let- 
ter from Brother R. L. Clark, of Verona, Mississippi, who 
was led to Christ in 1833, during the first great revival at 
La Grange College. He writes: '-'Bishop Paine was the 
instrument in my conversion. He was instructing me 
when I embraced Christ as my Saviour. And now- for the 
space of fifly years he has been my wisest, safest, best of 
friends and counselors." Such is the testimony of many 
living witnesses. Whenever the Bishop was able to preach, 
he always did so. During this tour of Conferences ho 
preached on "heart purity as essential to the perfection 
of Christian character." He often chose such subjects as 
"\yalking with God," "Filled with the fullness of God," 
"Blessed are the pure in heart." This, too, was a trying 
period of his life. He had a large estate to manage. To 
11 conscientious man as he was this brought great care, as 
well as responsibility. Then, there was the care of all the 
churches, the appointments of the preachers to tlieir work. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. ClIUllCII, SOUTH. 133 



the education of his children, and added to all these the 
proper organization of the Southern University, at Greens- 
boro, Alabama. Perplexed, tried, cast do^vn at times, he 
never foltered in his consecration, never ^vavered in his re- 
ligious experience, never forgot his first love, but was con- 
stantly growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ. 



134 LIFE OF rvODEKT TAINE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

General Conferexce at Xasiiville — Bishop Soule — Epis- 
copal Tour. 

IN May, I808, the fourth General Conference of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, South, "was held in Kashville, 
Tenn. Bishop Soule opened and organized the Conference. 
He Avas then far advanced in years. He still maintained 
that wonderful dignity of character Avhich had marked his 
entire career. He was a great man, and no one could behold 
him without feeling that he was in the presence of a great 
man. He had grown old gracefully. He had borne with 
meekness all the honors heaj^ed upon him by the Church. 
He had also borne with uncomplaining patience, and with 
the sjDirit of Christian forgiveness, all the reproaches which 
had fallen upon him because of his adherence to the South- 
ern Church. He was loved and honored by Southern Meth- 
odists with all the intensity of warm Southern hearts. He 
gave his ready consent to the removal of the rule from tlie 
Discipline in reference to slavery, holding that the entire 
question should be relegated to the State. 

In the fall of 1858 Bishop Paine again started on his 
episcopal tour. He first held the Memphis Conference at 
Trenton, Tenn. On his way he paid a visit to his brother 
Constantine. He had much serious religious conversation 
with his brother, whom he found in a cold, backslidden con- 
dition. This gave him very great concern. He felt during 
these repeated conversations that his brother was about to 
begin religious life in earnest. A fervent, humble prayer 
was offered : " O that he may ! " 

He left with the assurance that his visit had been of great 



lUSIIOP OF THE M. E. CIIURCH, BOUTII. 185 

spiritual benefit to luni. At Ti-eiiton, Tciin., he had a de- 
lightful time ^vith old friends from Murfreesboro, who had 
known him in their cliildhocd, and whose parents had 
been members of his Chureh during his early ministry. It 
was always a delight to him to revive these pleasant recollec- 
tions and renew the friendships of other years. He preached 
several times on his way to Conference, and dedicated one 
or two churches. At the Conference he preached on Christ 
able to save to the uttermost. Tiiis was a fixvoritc theme 
with him. The atonement was to him a cardinal doctrine 
of the Holy Scriptures. Christ was the Lamb slain. His 
sufferings were vicarious. He tasted death for every man. 
His sufierings and death were not mere expressions of God's 
love to a world lying in wickedness. Tlicy were much more. 
They expressed law and justice, and met all the requirements 
of the divine government, so that God could be just and 
yet justify the ungodly. He never left Wesleyan Method- 
ism. His love of originality never caused him to forsake 
the old paths. He was neither Calvinist nor Pelagian, but 
an Arminian, and held to the doctrine of the atonement as 
taught by Richard Watson and other great standards of 
Methodist theology. 

From Trenton he went to the Alabama Conference, at 
which he stationed two hundred j)reachers. Again he was 
suffering Avith sick headache, and unable to preach. Dr. 
Thomas O. Summers filled his place in the pulpit. No 
purer man has lived in this century than Thomas O. 
Summers. He was learned, earnest, instructive, logical, 
and evangelical as a preacher, and fit to fill any pulpit, 
and always ready to do the Master's work. " Honestly and 
patiently" the Bishop made the appointments, and gave 
general satisfaction. During this round the organization 
of the Southern University was completed. An able Fac- 
ulty was elected. Dr. AV^illiam M. AVightman was made 



130 LIFE OF ROBERT TATNE, D.D. 

Chancellor. A course of study was adopted similar to that 
required in the University of Virginia. In all this the 
Board of Trust "svas greatly assisted l)y the wise counsels 
and large experience of Bishop Paine, who jiresided over 
their deliberations. At Woodvillc, Miss., he held the Mis- 
sissippi Conference, and soon after opened the Louisiana 
Conference at New Orleans. At this Conference he met 
vrith his old and long-tried friend the Rev. Alexander Sale. 
It vras a joy to them both. For more than sixteen years 
they had worked together for the cause of education at La 
Grange College — the Bishop being President and Brother 
Sale one of the Board of Trust. 

In Virginia, as circuit preacher and presiding elder, the 
Rev. Alexander Sale had served the Church v>ith great 
ability. So he had in Tennessee and Alabama. Re v\'as 
now old and gray-headed, but still erect, stately, and strong. 
He had married the Bishop to his last wife, and had been 
with him in joy and in sorrow. He was the father of Bishop 
Linus Parker's first v>ife, and was always worthy to be the 
companion and counselor of Bishops. They met at that 
Conference for the last time on earth. They have met 
again amid the assembly of God's saints in heaven. 

Bishop Paine returned home from his round of Confer- 
ences in time to enjoy watch-night meeting at the church 
in Aberdeen, his own home. After a talk suited to such 
an occasion, he, with his brethren, closed the old year 1858 
and entered upon the new year on his knees. It had been 
forty-one years since his happy conversion and his entrance 
upon the ministry. His consecration to God had been re- 
newed a thousand times. It Avas again, most solemnly — in 
vievr of the past and the future, and in union with members 
of his own family and his people in Aberdeen — renewed just 
as one year passed out and another was ushered in. 

Soon after this he stood by the bedside of his old friend 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 1 o7 

Thomas Brandon as he was dying. He saw liini as he gave 
tlie last kiss of affection to his wife and children. Although 
he could not articulate distinctly, he gave sufficient testi- 
mony that all was well, and tliat he was trusting Him whom 
he had served so long. The Bishop had known him at 
Huntsville, Ala., for many years. He buried him and 
preached his funeral-sermon. 

In June he attended the commencement exercises of tlie 
"NVcsleyan College, at JMacon, Ga., and had the pleasure of 
witnessing the graduation of his oldest daughter, Sarah Fe- 
lix. As his children were grovring up, he felt more and 
more the necessity of religion at home. Ivcligious training 
more than ever seemed to take hold of his feelings. Sarah 
had been converted while at college. Robert was rp.iite a 
youth, and though bright and promising, was not yet a 
Christian. The time for his Western tour of Conferences 
was approaching. Ptol)ert was to go with him. The heart 
of the father was made glad by the happy conversion of liis 
son during tliat same tour. ' The son has remained faithful, 
and was a lay delegate to our last General Conference in 
1882, which was held in Nashville, Tenn. ; and there and 
then the sad scene was witnessed Vvhen the dear old Bisliop, 
worn down by labors and disease, asked to be relieved from 
active duty. 

At the Indian Mission Conference he preached the funer- 
al-sermon of liis old Tennessee friend the Rev. Wilson L. 
McAlister. Together they had fought the good fight of 
faith many years before. They had loved each otlier long 
and tenderly. For twenty years Brother McAlister had 
been a missionary to the Indians. He was a man of great 
purity of character and of high order of talents. The 
Bishop's text was, "Every man that hath this hope in him 
})urifieth himself, even as he is pure" (1 John iii. 3). His 
object was to show the purifying pnjwer of the Christian 



138 LIFE OF ROBERT RAINE, D.D, 



hope as it was manifested in the life and character of Wil- 
son L. Mci^lister. He says of him: "Pure, lovely, useful." 
Purity of heart had long been a favorite doctrine of the 
Bishop. It was becoming more and more so. During this 
trip to the five Western Conferences he preached twenty-one 
times, and often with great liberty. He received such bap- 
tisms of the Holy Spirit as caused his heart to rejoice with 
unspeakable joy. He was happy in the enjoyment of a pure 
religion. He does not hesitate to record in his journal these 
manifestations of the love of God and the joy which filled 
his soul. It has often been said that the Bishop's preaching 
lacked the subjective element. He did not often speak of 
himself in the pulpit. This fact led some to believe that 
he did not enjoy that deep ex^jerience and sweet commun- 
ion with God which are very apparent in his diary. The 
diary was intended for his ovrn eye. He did not expect it 
to be read by others. It is full of religious emotion. A 
constant cry for a deeper work of grace, accompanied by 
thanksgiving, is found permeating these brief life-notes. 
" Praise him — yes, praise him ! I am happy. Living or dying, 
I am the Lord's!" Such passages as these show that joy 
and peace were the fruits of the Spirit in his own heart. 
These transporting feelings sometimes bore him beyond 
himself in the pulpit, and caused him to give a shout of 
triumph. I remember once to have heard him at an An- 
nual Conference thrill an immense congregation by a burst 
of praise. He had occasion to quote the song of the angels 
at the birth of Christ, " Glory to God in the highest," etc. 
" Brethren," said he, " I have often heard that song. I have 
heard it as coming from angel songsters, as it floated over 
the vine-clad hills of Palestine, and along the shores of her 
winding streams, and up lier mountain slopes, and down her 
fertile valleys. I have heard it sung by the young convert 
as with streaming eyes and countenance all aglow he for the 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCir, SOUTH. 139 

first time gave glory to God. I have heard it from the old 
soldier of the cross, -who after gaining some signal victory 
over the foe gave vent to his feelings in a shout of praij^e. 
I have heard it from the dying Christian, as the clouds of 
death were gilded with celestial light and he seemed to look 
through the open doors and into the eternal city. Yes, 
brethren, I have heard it from hundreds at one time as 
they joined in hearty chorus, giving glory to God. And 
however and whenever I have heard it, whether from an.2:ols 
or from happy Christians, young or old, living or dying, I 
have said, I '11 join them, 1 11 join them. ' Glory to God in 
the highest, and on earth peace, good- will toward men!'" 
Then it was his lips seemed touched " with a live coal from 
off the altar." His fine face was in a glow of excitement. 
The immense congregation, composed largely of Methodist 
preachers, was deeply moved, and, "Amen ! I'll join them," 
came up in tremulous, joyous tones from scores of happy 
listeners. 



140 LIFE OF ROEERT PAINE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

Watch - night — Jonx Hersey — Buchanan — Interesting 
Visit — Threatenings of War. 

AFTER his long Western tour of 1859, lie arrived at his 
home in time to enjoy another watch-night. He says: 
" Thank God for the last year ! So many blessings of provi- 
dence and grace. I am the Lord's, and all mine is his. 
My covenant of consecration, full and 23erpetual, I renev,'. 
Amen." In this manner he was constantly renewing his 
consecration to God. "All mine is his." Could a conse- 
cration be more thorough ? With this vow upon him, he 
entered upon the year 1860. 

Early in January he was visited by his old friend the 
Kev. John Hersey, v.dio was a man of singular piety. He 
was a radical on the subject of dress, as also on the duties 
of fasting. When Robert Paine was quite a youth, he be- 
came acquainted with this remarkable man. He induced 
him to fast twice in the week when he Avas performing full 
work on a circuit extending over several thousand square 
miles. It greatly affected his health, and had it been per- 
sisted in, Avould probably have caused his death. John 
Hersey was, however, a good man. He spent years as a 
missionary in Africa, and was ever ready to do or to suffer 
for the Master's cause. More than forty years had passed 
since their last meeting. The Bishop gave him a cordial 
welcome to his own elegant home, and was glad to hear him 
deliver sermon after sermon in the church at Aberdeen. 
He enjoyed the visit of this remarkable man, and Avrote an 
interesting account of it which was published in one of our 
Southern papers. He left home in October for the Holston 



r.ISIIOP OF THE M. E. CIIURCII, ROUTIT. 141 

Conference. He stopped at Knoxville and preached to a 
large, attentive, and serious congregation. The Conference 
was hekl at Asheville, "where he met Dr. H. N. INIcTyeirc 
and heard him preach an impressive sermon prior to the 
ordination of eklers at 3 o'clock p.:m. on the Sabbath. 
The Bishop had preached in the forenoon on "Occupy till 
I come." A trial of one of the first ministers gave tlic 
Blsliop great trouble. Such trials always affected him very 
much. His love for the Church caused him to feel the 
deepest anxiety in regard to the result of the trial of a 
brother minister. He always felt the deep need of a pure 
ministry and of a holy Church. In a trial of the promi- 
nent member of the HoLston Conference, he was rejoiced 
that the minister was cleared by a vote almost unanimous, 
and that the Church would not be injured. 

He arrived at home in time to witness the death of one 
of his most precious friends, Mrs. George Phelan, the wife 
of Senator Phelan,r-^d sister of Mrs. Governor Ed. O'Neal, 
of Alabama. She died right, as she had lived right. Shq 
was the granddaughter of old Father Moore, of Huntsville, 
Ala., at the time of his death, the oldest IMethodist minister 
on this continent. The Bishop and his family loved her 
much, and deeply mourned her death. He had known her 
from childhood, and always recognized her as one of the 
best of Christian v/omen. The country was at this time in 
the greatest excitement of its political history. He enters 
in his journal: "Lincoln will be elected to-morrow President 

of the United States, and then 1 fear the dissolution 

of the Union." Inniiediately after the Presidential elec- 
tion, he held the Virginia Conference and visited Washing- 
ton City. He was the guest of Secretary Floyd, a member 
of Mr. Buchanan's cabinet. Of his visit to President Buch- 
anan he says : 

**In filling my a])p()intinents of 'episcopal visitation,' I 



142 LIFE OF r.OEEKT FAIXE, D.D. 

was to preside at the Virginia Conference in Alexandria, 
beginning Wednesday, Xov. 21, 1860. Arriving at Wash- 
ington City several days in advance of that date, and while 
dining, by invitation, at Governor Floyd's, a note was re- 
ceived from President Buchanan requesting hira to bring 
me with him to the White House that evening. Governor 
Floyd was then Secretary of War, and Mr. Lincoln had 
been elected President, but not inaugurated. Soon after 
supper, at which the late Bishop (then Dr.) Doggett, stationed 
in the city, was also present, the Governor and myself went 
to see Mr. Buchanan. Not having finished his tea, he in- 
sisted that, as there was no other company present, we should 
go with him into the dining-room. He soon introduced the 
subject of the threatened 'secession' — saying, in substance, 
that he had learned through his Secretary of War that I 
was a Southern Methodist Bishop upon a tour of official 
duty through the Southern States, and resided in Missis- 
sippi ; that he would like to know what are really the facts 
as to the public sentiment in the South. ' What will the 
Southern States do? Will they follow^ South Carolina if 
she goes out? or will they likely split upon the question? 
And what about South Carolina? can any thing be done to 
prevent rash action on her part?' He wished to learn 
from a candid and reliable man who loves his country a 
fair statement of his views on these points. In rej^ly, I ob- 
served that, as regarded myself, as I was never a politician, 
having studiously avoided partisan excitement — insomuch 
that for thirty years past I had not voted for a President, 
in order to give an example to younger ministers, and thus 
to reserve my influence for moral and religious ends — I might 
not be good authority upon the political questions now so 
seriously endangering the harmony of the Union ; that my 
opinion as to what the South would do was not formed by 
personal intercourse while on my Conference visitations 



BTSiior OF THE M. E. cirrnfiT, souTn. 



duriiii;- the year, as I had atteiulcd but one, and that \vas the 
Ilulston hekl at Asheville, N. C, Avliere I had tdways un- 
derstood political parties were generally about equally di- 
vided ; but how they stood on that question I knew not — had 
not inquired. In fact, all I knew was from the public press 
and casual talk while traveling. It afforded an opportunity, 
which Avas ghidiy embraced, of saying that while we preach- 
ers claimed, as citizens, all the rights and immunities of 
freemen, we had adopted the principles of discouraging and 
opposing the introduction and discussion of all purely po- 
litical questions in our Conferences and jjzt/^^/f^'; and that 
this was so well understood and approved by our preachers 
that since the organization of the Southern Church I had 
witnessed no attempt to violate it. But as he seemed de- 
sirous to know my opinion, I frankly told him that since I 
left my home in Mississippi I had learned that the Legis- 
lature had been called, and with a vie^v to a convention, 
which I presumed would likely take action upon the ques- 
tion of secession ; and I apprehended that she and the other 
Southern States would likely follow South Carolina. He 
seemed greatly troubled — would sip his tea, get up and 
walk about the room, and again take his seat, and presently 
resume the Avalk. He evidently felt distressed ; regarded it 
as wrong — wrong to him personally as a Democrat and 
ever a friend to the South, and involving principles and re- 
sults extremely dangerous ; results no one could fully fore- 
tell. I sympathized with him. Upon his alluding to the 
evils of division and the probability of a civil war, I re- 
minded him that some thought that from what he had pub- 
lished he held the opinion that the United States troops 
could not be legally employed against a sovereign State ia 
such a ccuie. There Ava.s a pause, and the Secretary replied : 
' We have carefully looked into that question, and have not 
found the authority to do so.' The President, I believe, 



144 LIFE OF KOBERT TAINE, D.D. 

made BO direct reply, simply remiirking : ' When the pas- 
sions of men are aroused, there is no telling ^Yhere the 
thing ^vill end.' The subject Avas dropped as to that point. 
He, however, appeared anxious to prolong the conversation, 
and to get my views as to the dangers ahead, and as to the 
best way to prevent an outbreak. I candidly told him that 
I feared a conflict mie;ht occur, v»'ithout design of either the 
State of South Carolina or the United States, at Charleston ; 
and that probably by prudence and forbearance for awhile 
feelings vrould calm down, and the danger subside. In this 
I was plainly telling my convictions and hopes, for I con- 
fess I did not then appreciate the imminency of the storm. 
I inquired of him, 'What kind of a man have you at Fort 
Moultrie ? ' To this he responded quickly : ' By the by, that 
reminds me that the ofricer there reported last week that a 
collision had like to have occurred at the Charleston wharf 
between our men and some citizens, as to the right or pref- 
erence of our captain's little vessel and some hot-bloods, and 
was only avoided by cool-headed citizens.' As to the ofilccr, 
he said: 'He is somewhat nervous, a Northerner, a good 
officer, but not likely to forbear much.' I asked him if it 
might not be better to have another man from neither South 
nor New England — a firm, good-natured Western man. 
While we all felt very uneasy as to the future, I w^as hope- 
ful, trusting that if things could be kei)t quiet until the in- 
coming Administration should be firmly seated, our sky 
Avould brighten, and by some unforeseen means amity be re- 
stored. I think the President and Governor Floyd had the 
same hopes. 

"Before that interview closed, I was asked if I had any 
acquaintance in South Carolina who might be competent 
and willing to write a few strong articles^ and get them pub- 
lished in a paper in Columbia or Charleston, discouraging 
an outlii-eak by the young men. After reflecting av.hile, I 



EI!- nor OF THE m. e. ciiuncii, south. 145 



told him my acqiuiintance among that class of men there 
was very limited, as it required a literary and influential 
man, whose name, qualities, and position Avere not easily 
found by a transient visitor as I had been in that State; 
but I thought I knew one man who eould do it, and might 
be willing to do so in the interest of peace, law, and order, 
although decidedly and in every respect a Southerner. Up- 
on his saying that the fVict last mentioned would give his 
advice more weight, and asking me to write to him, I agreed 
to do so. I did write to my friend ; he consented, and I 
learned lie redeemed his promise, and it was thought with 
good effect. This conversation took place Nov. 19, 1860; 
and I here state jiositivchj that during it nothing was said 
or intimated tliat any of the ' forts, arsenals, or other prop- 
erty of the United States at Charleston, was to be surren- 
dered to the State.' I soon learned that Major Anderson 
was in command there — a Western man, I believe— and 
that an increased confidence was felt for the conservation of 
peace until Congress should meet ; but the shadows deep- 
ened, and a storm burst suddenly. So much I deem just to 
the dead and the living. I^- Paine." 

Bishop Paine was a prudent Christian patriot. At the 
South Carolina Confererice resolutions were offered in sym- 
pathy Avith the secession movement. He ruled them out of 
order, and they were not pressed upon the Conference. 
The Bishop held the reins with a firm grasp. He said, " Pol- 
itics cannot be allowed in a Methodist Conference." They 
were therefore kept out. Would that they had always been 
kept out of Meth(jdist Conferences! The South Carolina 
Conference was the last over which he presided before the 
terrible internecine war which for four terrible years swept 
like a fearful cyclone over our dear Southland. 
10 



146 LIFE OF ROBERT RAIXE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

The Civil War — Sor.noAv rroN Sorrow. 

C/HORTLY after the session of the Virginia Conference, 
XJ during which he had his interview with President Buch- 
anan, he returned home, and awaited events with the great- 
est anxiety. With the fall of Sumter the call was made 
by President Lincoln for seventy-f.ve thousand volunteers. 
The bloody war of four long, disastrous years followed. 
During these years he kept no regular diary. A note now 
and then of an important battle, of a terrible raid, of the 
death of some dear friend killed in battle, or of a day ap- 
pointed for fasting and prayer, and then a pious, tearful 
ejaculation, "O God, protect our people ! " constituted about 
all that can be found among his papers of Avhat he recorded 
during the war. He was not a politician, and I never 
knew whether he favored the secession movement or not. 
When, however, his i^eojile were involved in this internecine 
strife, all his sympathies were vrith his native South. He 
was much discourao:ed from almost the beeinnino: of the 
war. He staid much at home. He communed with his 
own heart. He offered silent, secret, fervent prayer to 
God. He preached mostly in the country to those who 
needed much his pious counsel and spiritual teachings. He 
held but few Conferences. He sometimes visited the Con- 
federate armies and preached to the soldiers. The regular 
work of the itinerant Methodist ministry v.as to a large 
extent broken up. The j^ortion of country in v/hich he 
lived was subject to raids at any time after the fall of Fort 
Pillow and Nashville and IMemphis ; and then Natchez and 
Vicks])urg fell into the hands of the victorious North. 
What couhl he do ? He was then more than sixty years 



BISIIOr OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 147 

old, and he was not able to undergo the toils and sufferings 
of a soldier's life. Besides, his warfare v/as one not to be 
fought with carnal weapons. He was a soldier of the cross, 
and he could wield no other sword than the "sword of the 
Spirit." He prepared himself for the defeat which he well 
knew was sure to come. He saw it coming long before 
President Davis or his cabinet thought of any thing else 
than Southern independence. At the instance of many- 
friends he visited Richmond at an early period of the war, 
and sought to arouse the Confederate President to a sense 
of the certain ruin that was soon to come to Mississippi, and 
then to all the South. His wise and moderate words were 
not heeded. Other counsels prevailed. He returned to 
his home patient, resigned. It v\'as all right. God knew 
what was best for the South. The noblest and truest men 
of the South were disappointed. Never were a people more 
thoroughly subdued. They fought until the " last ditch " 
was reached, and they could fight no more. Having fought 
bravely, the officers of the Southern armies, from General 
Robert E. Lee to the humblest captain, surrendered in good 
faith. The almost universal sentiment among the good peo- 
ple of the South v\'as submission to the Government by which 
they had been subdued. 

During the war he had charge of the chaplains in the 
Southern army, and often himself preached to the soldiers, 
both in and out of camp. He nursed the sick and vrounded 
in hospitals, and when practicable had his own house full of 
them. His capture was strongly desired by troops making 
raids through North i\Iississippi. He was told by a re- 
turned Confederate prisoner that in a conversation between 
two Federal officers it was said that they intended to carry 
that old rebel Bishop back with them if he could be found ; 
consequently he frequently left home unexpectedly and spent 
days and nights in the forest to avoid capture — Aberdeen 



148 LIFE OF r.OBEET PAINE, D.D. 

being on contested ground, and being much exposed to raids 
from the invading army. Mrs. Scruggs (his daughter) sends 
us the follov.ing, taken from her diary kept during the war : 

"January 1, 1865. — Father returned home to-day from 
the southern part of the State, where he had been to avoid 
the Federal raid. 

"January 2. — Federal soldiers reported burning farm- 
houses north of Aberdeen. Father on horseback, ready to 
leave town at any time. 

"February 13. — He preached to the soldiers in camp to- 
day. 

"February 25. — Father and mother went to his plantation 
to superintend the nursing of his sick negroes, thirty-eight 
being doAvn with the measles at the same time. Many of 
the negroes are very ill, and many died. One old family 
servant, to whom he vras much attached, was very low with 
the measles. He nursed her day and night, and Avhen he 
discovered she must die, he informed her of her danger, 
prayed with her, and told her if after she became speech- 
less her faith was still unwavering, to raise her hand. Just 
before she breathed her last she did raise her hand toward 
heaven, and said in a feeble voice: 'Master, all is right!' 
My mother, who Avitnessed the scene, said father shouted 
and praised God for such a victory." 

Soon after this event, he Avrites: "There are rumors of 
peace. Lee's army probably surrendered. The Southern 
cause is lost. Let us betake ourselves to the arts of peace. 
I may not dwell upon the horrors of this war. I will say, 
however, that the best blood of the South was poured out like 
water. Boys of fifteen were put in the army. My own dear 
boy of fifteen went, and received a wound from which he suf- 
fered to his dying-day. Old men went forth to war. The wom- 
en gave ujrevery luxury, and returned to the spinning-wheel 
and the loom. They took the carpets from their floors and the 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 149 

curtains from their windows to give to the soldiers. And 
yet, in two weeks after the proclamation that the ' rebellion 
NTOS at an end,' all was peace among our people. There 
were no armed men ; there were no raids. Highway rob- 
beries were of rare occurrence. Difficulties between the 
whites and blacks seldom took place. The fight had been 
terrible, but now all the good and true men and self-sacri- 
ficing women were for obedience to the laws and loyalty to 
the Government." Such was the position at once assumed 
by Bishop Paine. He counseled forbearance. He urged 
the practice of kindness to the race just freed from slavery. 
He inculcated both by precept and example the cultiva- 
tion of the highest justice and honesty in all dealings be- 
tween the races. He was strong, and showed himself a 
man — a noble, true. Christian man — in this hour which 
tried men's souls. Always conservative, prudent, and cau- 
tious, he was never more so than at this important juncture, 
which threw upon him as one of the leading minds and one 
of the first men in the South such grave responsibility. 

I shall ever believe that it was owing to the teachings 
of such pure, good men as Bishops Paine and Capers, the 
two Pierces, father and son, and of others of similar char- 
acter, that during the whole war the whites and negroes 
at the South lived in such peace. Within less than one 
hundred miles of Bishop Paine's home the sound of a bugle 
would reach the ears of five thousand negroes, and the same 
blast could not be heard by more than fifty white men ; and 
these white men were mostly aged and infirm, and they, 
with their homes, wives, and daughters, were entirely in the 
power of these negroes. Yet no harm befell. In many 
places large plantations were cultivated entirely by negroes, 
without the oversight of any white man, and all went on in 
peace and safety. God was in the teaching of such men as 
we have named, or rapine and murder would have been the 



150 LIFE OF KOBEET PAINE, D.D. 



order of the day. Bishop Paine in the third year of his min- 
istry vokmte^red to go as a missionary to Africa. This he 
did under the appeals made to him. by a negro preaclier, as 
recorded in Bedford's History of Methodism in Kentucky. 
Before his election as Bishop, he told me that he intended 
to leave La Grange College and devote himself to the mis- 
sionary work among the negroes of Mississippi. He always 
felt the deepest interest in that race. He was the best of 
masters. He preached to them on every suitable occasion. 
And now he was rewarded by the perfect good feeling and 
confidence which existed betv>'een the two races durino; a war 
waged with terrible severity, not to say relentless cruelty. 

The following abstract of a speech delivered by him in 
the jMethodist church in Aberdeen, Mississippi, Avhere he 
lived, at the close of the war, will give additional force to 
what has been written here of the influence exerted by him 
in the interests of law and order: 

•'•' We have passed through four years of fierce and bloody 
war. It is over. The decision has been made by the mili- 
tary authorities; and I presume I might add with the ad- 
vice of the civil authorities also, for doubtless they have 
concurred with the military, though not formally and in 
their official capacities. Our troops have been surrendered, 
and will all soon be paroled. Our armies, as such, exist no 
longer. The whole country east of the Mississippi River 
now resumes its place in the Union. What, then, is the 
proper course to be pursued by citizens? Plis own convic- 
tion on this subject was clear and decided: It is that we 
should calmly, quietly, and unanimously resume our former 
position as peaceful citizens, and in good faith enter as such 
upon the performance of our duties. Our country has cer- 
tainly suffered enough in all that is dear to us. Tliousands 
of precious lives have been lost, and millions of property 
destroyed. But let us henceforth turn our thoughts and 



nisnor of the m. e. church, south. 



151 



efforts to the inu-suits of life ^vhic■h ave necessary and use- 
ful The poor, afflicted, and bereaved must be cared for. 
The education of our children must bo provided for. 1 lie 
tendency to den>orali/.ation, that invariable concomitant of 
war must be arrested; and law, order, and fidelity to every 
.ooial, civil, and religious duty must be encouraged and sus- 
tained by us. Let all the soldiei-s heed the advice and follow 
the exampleof their leaders, ^vho have given up the struggle. 
Let them receive the parole agreed upon, and in good foith 
lay aside their arms, return to their families and fi'iends, and 
become useful citizens. Let them not yield to the tempta- 
tion to carry on a guerrilla warfare, which we have ever re- 
garded as wrong in principle. Such a warfare, moreover, 
would result in no good, but bring great and continued dis- 
tress upon the country and utterly ruin those _ engaged in 
it Finallv, having always disapproved of using the pul- 
pi't to discuss political questions in which angry passions are 
sou<.ht to be aroused, he solemnly and deliberately advised 
his°conntrymen on the east side of the Mississippi River-- 
and if his voice could be heard, he would thus speak to 
those on the west side also-to resume in good feith their 
former positions as law-abiding and peaceful citizens. 
And in closing mv remarks," said Bishop Fame, I can 
,vith more propriety address my brethren in the ministry 
who are present, to say to them that I respectui lly and 
earnestly advise them all to use their influence, both pub- 
licly and privatelv, for the promotion of peace and qu.et- 
nes; among all classes, and especially among the ministers 
an.l membei-s of thcMethodistEpiseopal Ghurch,South. 

Thc-^e sentiments of the Bishop commend themselves to 
the approval of all dispassionate and thinking men, and as 
such we give them to our readers.* 

*Tliis WC5 nul.lislicl .t the time in an Aberdeen iJaper, ami fui- 
ni,sl,ecl the auth.T hy his ,la.,,gl>ter, Mr.. Lu.lie P. Scruggs. 



152 LIFE OF ItOUEirr PAINE, L>.D. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

"Notes or Life" — Seeking fok Truth — Dr. Bascom — Polit- 
ical Issues— President Monroe — Missions Among the In- 
dians — De Soto. 

BISHOP PAINE, in his "Notes of Life," published after 
he had attained to four-score years, presents us ^vith 
many reminiscences and incidents which are vahiable helps 
in forming an estimate of his character. The painstaking 
industry and thoughtful application in search of truth, which 
are so rare, and yet so necessary to decision of character, he 
exhibits in the following extract : 

"Having been reared under Baptist influence, and edu- 
cated of late by Presbyterian ministers, I had naturally 
imbibed Calvinistic viev»s; but while I yielded the uncon- 
ditional predestination dogma, my immersion sentiment re- 
mained unchanged for some time. At last I resolved to 
examine the question prayerfully. It had been in our aca- 
demic course of study to recite occasionally in the CJrcek 
Testament, and this habit of reading some in it daily I con- 
tinued. I thus began to read the New Testament with ref- 
erence to the Greek, to find out, if possible, from the word 
of God the mode of baptism, determined to adhere to my 
mature convictions whatever they might be or wherever 
they might lead me. In doing so I confess I had but little 
doubt that I could soon place my finger upon the texts which 
would confirm my belief in immersion as the Bible mode. 
John baptizing in Jordan came up first. Is the mode of 
Christian baptism here? If so, is it immersion f I was 
forced to answer, No, it was not Christian baptism, and 
not necessarily ])y imnicrsion. The 'burial l>y baptism' 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CIIURCIT, SOUTH. 153 

was spiritual, and 'unto deatli,' ajid does not relate to wa- 
ter, much less to the mode of l)ai)tism. The case of Philip 
and the eunuch Avas next examined. I had heard Lroin"- 
(h)A\n into and cominii; out of the \vater often quotid, ac- 
companied with gestures of plunging into and lifting uj), as 
illustrating the act of baptizing referred to, but aside from 
the fact that the Greek prepositions rendered into and out 
of are equally as susceptible of being translated to and frfnn, 
they do not at all express the act of baptism — that act took 
l)lace in the interval between going into and coming out of, 
for after it is said 'they both went down,' it is added, 'and 
he baptized him;' and then 'they came up,' etc. Here 
again I was disappointed. Going down from the chai-iot 
was preparatory to the baptism, and coming up consequent 
upon it, no matter by what mode it was administered. Thus, 
to say nothing as to the improbabilities of an immersion in 
this instance growing out of that part of the Scripture which 
Philip was explaining, in which the term 'sprinkling' is 
expressly used, and that the eunuch at once went on his 
journey, while nothing is even intimated that his whole per- 
son was submerged, the question. Where is the Bible proof 
of immersion? became involved in serious doubts. Is the 
proof in the case of St. Paul, Cornelius, Lydia, or the 
jailer? All these unmistakably point another wfly. Is it 
in the Greek word translated, or -transferred, bapjtize f AVould 
the Saviour, after repeatedly using the woi"d hapto, which is 
translated, correctly too, 'to dip,' lay it aside when he enjoins 
Christian bai)tism, and then substitute for it haptlzo, if bap- 
tism can be performed only ])y dipping (especially if hap- 
tizo is not used specifically elsewhere in the ^ew Testament 
to mean dip)? AVhy not avoid all misconception and difH- 
culty by continuing to use the word hapjto, which he inva- 
riably employs to express dip? 

"And of what special importance is the mode of baptism 



154 LIFE OF ROBERT TAINE, D.D. 

more than that of the other great sacrament? Why not 
attach as much importance to the mode of communicating 
and receiving the holy eucharist? As the essentials of the 
latter are bread and Avine, a fit recipient, and an authorized 
administrator, while the quality of the bread and wine and 
the posture of the receiver are admitted by all to be unes- 
sential, why is not baptism with water, in the name of the 
Trinity, administered by an authorized minister to a fit sub- 
ject, really water baptism, irrespective of quantity of water 
used or the posture of the subject? Finally, as water bap- 
tism is a sign or symbol of that baptism of the Holy Spirit 
by which we are washed and purified internally, and as the 
antitype, spiritual baptism, is an act of God, described as 
pouring, is it not proper to follow him, and to baptize as he 
does, by pouring? Such considerations cleared away the 
fogs of my early prepossessions, and longer experience and 
study have only strengthened and satisfied me. Having 
deliberately concluded to do so, I was thus baptized by 
Miles Harper, in Franklin, Tenn., November 3, 1817. 

" The process of reasoning which satisfied me as to the bap- 
tism of children vras short and simple. God is King; the 
Church his kingdom; children have ever been recognized 
citizens in it. It was so in its organization under the Abra- 
hamic covenant, which is the gospel covenant, unchanged 
in essentials and substance — only modified in services — 
the same King and kingdom. When and by Avhom were 
children disfranchised and exiled from the kingdom? 
Not by Christ, who took them in his arms, and proclaimed 
'little children' — 'infants' — to be subjects of his kingdom, 
the Church (IMatt. xix. 14). 'Of such is the kingdom of 
heaven' — i.e., let them come, for my kingdom is of such. 
Again, 'Except ye be converted and become as little chil- 
dren, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven' (jNiatt. 
xviii. 3). If adults must become internallv like children 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CIIURCir, SOUTH. 



to fit tlicm for citizenship, surely children themselves have 
an original, rightful claim to citizenship in it; and as wa- 
ter baptism is the only full and formal recognition of citi- 
zenship, they are consequently entitled to it. Did not our 
Lord teach iSicodemus that v.hile the internal operation, 
'born again,' is a requisite *to see the kingdom of God' 
(John iii. 8), baptism, or to be born of water as well as 
of the Spirit, is needful to a formal and full recognition 
and entrance into the gospel Church? Was not all this a 
reaffirmation and confirmation of the chartered ris^hts and 
privileges of the beneficiaries of the original covenant with 
Abraham, ' confirmed before of God in Christ,' which can- 
not be 'disannulled?' Surely it was not a reversal or re- 
peal of the original law, and of universal usage under it. 
Certainly neither the apostles nor their opponents under- 
stood it so. A change so radical would have been at once 
denounced by the latter and recorded unequivocally by the 
evangelists. It could not have been unnoticed. It involved 
the status of every child. Then many Rachels would have 
wailed and refused to be comforted. The apostles and 
early Christians did not understand that Christ had closed 
the door against these children, and that 'the promise v/as 
not to their children,' as well as to them. The fact is that 
no question of the kind is more certainly established than 
that infant baptism was the prevailing custom of the early 
and purest period of the Christian Church. I find no evi- 
dence that the rirjht of children to this ordinance was denied 
for the first thousand years after Christ. The jyostpoiiement 
of baptism from infancy to maturitv came with other er- 
rors." 

Of Henry B. Bascom, a pulpit orator who had no equal 
in his day, we have an appreciative notice. The time is 
the second or third year of tlie young itinerant, and the 
vividness of the impression made ujum his mind l)y the 



156 LIFE OF ROBERT TAINE, D.D. 



peerless Bascoin is recalled after the lapse of nearly sixty 
years : 

"As the year advanced the congregations grew larger, and 
our quarterly and camp meetings -were glorious seasons of 
refreshing. At the camp-meeting held at Thomas's, about 
ten miles east of Franklin, 11. B. Bascom preached to a 
vast multitude, on Bev. vi. 17: 'For the great day of his 
Avrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?' It was 
awfully sublime, and for effect I have never seen it sur- 
passed. The Avhole congregation unconsciously rose to their 
feet, and Avith eyes fixed upon the speaker moved toward 
the pulpit. The loeroration was overwhelming. It Avas on 
Sunday afternoon, during the camp-meeting held in the 
open air, under the Avide-spread branches of gigantic trees, 
and upon an eminence commanding a Avide range of Anew. 
The sky Avore the somber cast of Indian summer; the sun, 
seen through the dusky atmosphere, greAV larger as it slowly 
declined to the horizon, becoming lurid and portentous; not 
a breath of air disturbed the overhanging boughs; nature 
seemed in ominous repose, and nothing was heard save the 
voice of the prince of pulpit orators. Now in Ioav, solemn, 
tender tones of suppressed emotion, he pictured the 'great' 
day, and Avarned of its 'coming unawares;' and anon, in 
short, rapid, successive denunciations, like the sharp rattle 
of a juindred rifles in quick succession, foreshadowing 'the 
day of his Avrath;' closing by alluding to the scenic sur- 
roundings of earth and sky, and the imperative duty of 
immediate preparation for 'the inevitable hour.' Hun- 
dreds bowed for prayer, and there Avas no other preaching 
until the next day, Avhen he preached on 'Add to your 
faith,' etc." 

Although Bishop Paine did not suffer himself to be en- 
tangled with the political discussions and the party strifes 
of liis dav, he Avas liv no means an indifferent spectator in 



Bisnor OF THE m. e. church, south. 157 

tho nicnioral)lc stniirgles of the ])nst. The accuracy of liis 
information upon subjects of political and national history 
cannot be questioned. In his "Notes of Life" he says: 

" The year 1819-20 was a memorable period. It was such 
to the country, to the Church, and in my own personal his- 
tory. Politically it was eventful. It marKcd the opening 
of a great struggle, which, like the low muttering of a dis- 
tant storm, had' been occasionally heard by prescient states- 
man, but now assumed a definite and visible form of a por- 
tentous cyclone, overspreading the fairest and happiest land 
beneath the sky. I allude to the admission of Missouri into 
the Federal Union by Congress, when for the first time the 
question of slavery divided the country by a geographical 
line. The culmination of that storm was the four-years' 
civil war of I8GI-G0. The deplorable results of that frat- 
ricidal struggle are too well known to require repetition or 
comment. The evils of it are inconceivable, and the re- 
sponsibility for it must be decided by the only court of su- 
preme jurisdiction. If I felt in any degree responsible for 
it, I think it would craze me. Thank God, I do not! 

"Among other important events of that period were the 
promulgation and establishment of the 'Monroe Doctrine' 
of non-intervention *f foreign powers with the South Amer- 
ican States and Territories ; the right of the Federal Gov- 
ernment to make internal improvements ; the admission of 
Missouri, Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama, and IMaine into the 
Union; the cession of Florida (East and West), and adja- 
cent islands, to the United States by Spain ; and the approval 
of the act establishing the Bank of the United States by 
Congress. The discussion of these topics in the Congres- 
sional and Legislative halls of the United States was like so 
many volcanic outbursts, threatening the very upheaval 
and destruction of the political frame-work of our Govern- 
ment. Fortunately Congress never was filled by so many 



158 LIFE OF PvOBERT PAINE, D.D. ' 

great men. It was the war of giauts. The tremors of that 
antagonism are not over, but occasionally thi'ob in the body 
politic. 

"Some of these questions — the first-named especially — 
were such as naturally and almost of necessity produced a 
great sectional sensation in Church as well as State rela- 
tions. And thus the m.ost delicate and dangerous of all 
moral, political, and economic questions, which might pos- 
sibly have been peacefully and safely adjusted in the calm- 
ness of fraternal debate by patriotic. Christian statesman- 
ship, became a wedge in the hands of impassioned partisans 
and uncompromising fanatics to rend and nearly destroy the 
boasted fabric of our national Union. The darkest page 
in Protestant history is that v/hich records the civil war of 
our States in 1861-65. Great men, like povrerful locomo- 
tives, are dangerous without a corresponding controlling 
power. An archangel would be a safe custodian of a na- 
tion, but without purity he would wreck and ruin it. Un- 
fortunately our statesmen 2">roved unequal to the crisis. 

" To the Church also this was an era of unusual impor- 
tance. Our Methodism, in common with other Protestant 
denominations, had made gradual and decisive advances in 
every department of Christian enterprise. Revivals had 
been extensive, accessions of members unusually great, the 
number of candidates for the ministry had multiplied, 
and withal their gifts, grace, and usefulness indicated a 
higher grade of qualifications. Led and stimulated by her 
able and consecrated chief pastors and experienced preach- 
ers, and by the cooperation of laymen, there was a forward 
movement all along the Church-line. The watchmen had 
long prayed, and anxiously looked out from their watch- 
towers; had responded to the cry, 'What of the night?' 
'The morning cometh, and also the night.' A crisis was at 
hand, but the promised day had not burst. The yearning 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 1")9 

heart aud the eye of faith ^Yistfully turned to read in the 
signs of the times the realization of a brighter era. Heaven 
had been preparing the Church and the world for a great 
advance step. As in the age after Julius Ca?sar passed away 
the temple of Janus M'as shut, so when Napoleon Bonaparte, 
■whose character and history strikingly resembled the Roman 
usurper, had been dethroned, white-robed peace seemed to 
have come down to dwell again among the nations. 

" This turbulent spirit, at once the terror of Europe and 
the pride and scourge of France, having risen from obscu- 
rity by the combination of extraordinary political events, 
controlled by a masterful mind, had been chafing like a 
caged lion, in a lonely island of the ocean since 1815, and 
the world looked on and breathed free. By the treaty of 
Ghent England and America had made peace, while Spain 
and the tribes of Indians upon our frontier had joined us 
in new treaties of amity. Even theological warriors beat 
the ' drum ecclesiastic' less long and loud, and Christians 
looked into each other's faces, and began to ask if the points 
in which they could agree were not as many as those about 
which they differed, and more important. It soon appeared 
that while the different Protestant denominations had been 
at war among themselves about the meaning of the Bible as to 
' mint, anise, and cummin,' they had neglected the weightier 
matter of giving ilie Book itself to the people. In this, at 
least, they could ail unite. In 1816 the American Bible 
Society was organized, and as was eminently fit and signfi- 
cant, this precious book became the grea^t basis of Christian 
union. To j^rint and distribute it in all languages, and put 
it into the hands of all men, was its acknowledged mission. 

"Up to this date there had been no regular missionaries 
sent by our people into heathen lands, nor any society among 
us formed ihr the purpose. The earth swarmed with be- 
nighted humanity. Even upon our own continent, at our 



IGO LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

door, and throughout our whole borders, they lived by myr- 
iads; but until 1820 there had been no efficient organiza- 
tion of missionary or Sunday-school societies through ^Yhich 
the Christian zeal and philanthropy of our Church could 
operate. But the time had come — the heathen cry for 
help had been heard, and the response had been quickly 
and gladly uttered by many, ' Here arc we, send us.' Al- 
most simultaneously these agencies started upon their glo- 
rious careers. The faithful watchman, who long had waited, 
cried from his lofty tower, ' Lo, the day breaketh, and the 
night is over and gone!' 'The clock of ages had struck,' 
and a new era had begun." 

The field for the sowing of the good seed of the kingdom 
was widening every year. The restless spirit of the popu- 
lation in the Eastern and Middle States gave occasion to 
the land speculators of the time, and they seized it to prac- 
tice extortion upon the people. Of this swelling stream of 
immigration, and of the heartless exactions of land monop- 
olists, he says : 

"After the accession of Mr. Monroe to the Presidency, in 
1817, a vast amount of fertile land, recently obtained from 
various Indian tribes, was offered for sale at public auction 
by the Government, especially in the South-western States. 
Immigration poured in like a flood — the land speculation 
mania rose to a high pitch. Capitalists formed associations 
to purchase extensively and to put down competition. The 
'land sales' became scenes of the wildest disorder. The 
plain and honest immigrant, who came with moderate 
means to secure a home, found it needful to join a company 
to prevent being crushed, and even then had been compelled 
to pay a high price for his home, by the grasping speculators. 
Mr. Monroe, in a tour of personal observation through the 
States, visited Huntsville, Ala., after such a scene had oc- 
curred there, and attended a great public dining given him 



r.TSHoi' OF Tin: m. k. ('iiurcti, sorrir. 1(51 



The occasion was unusual — the personnel of President Mon- 
roe, his history as a soldier and patriot statesniau, and the 
vast and intelligent concourse present, made it an impressive 
day. A toast was offered, complimentary to the distin- 
guished guest and to the Government, closing by allusion to 
J;he high price for the public land by the people to swell the 
coffers of the General Government. In reply, the President 
arose to his feet and gracefully responded to the compli- 
ment. He was large, finely formed, and of noble mien ; and 
standing in the midst of the most wealthy, finely dressed, 
and iiitclligent crowd which the South could show; he ap- 
peared in a blue homespun coat cut in military style of the 
E-evolution, light-colored vest and trousers, and cocked hat. 
A shade is said to have passed over his fiice as he closed 
by saying he had been made sorry by hearing that those 
who wished for homes for their families had been obliged, 
by speculators, to pay high prices; that the United States 
'.vanted citizens and actual settlers upon her lands, and only 
required the cost of them. The sentiment was a right one, 
and some present winced under it. In many cases those 
who had agreed to pay fi*om twenty to sixty dollars 2Jer acre 
for lands were obliged to forfeit them after they had made 
one or two annual payments for them, and were imbittered 
by having to surrender them to others. In parts of Alabama 
this was specially the case. The immigrants were generally, 
however, of the better class of citizens from the Southern 
Atlantic States, and from Tennessee and Kentucky. They 
made fine citizens." 

The pioneer in the West and South-west had no sooner 
l)uilt a log-house, and cleared a few acres of land, than the 
]\Iethodist preacher arrived, to summon him to thoughts of 
God, heaven, and eternity. The organization of missionary 
societies Bishop Paine has already noticed. In the follow- 
ing extract he enters into details : 
11 



162 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



" The formation of the first missionary society among the 
Metliodists,to operate among the Indians, occurred in Tusca- 
loosa, in the spring or early summer of 1820. I am now 
aware that Dr. Bangs had brought this subject to notice in 
New York about that period, and that at the General Con- 
ference held that year it had been determined to organize 
such a society, and that a constitution had been adopted 
and officers aj^pointed — of all Avhich we were profoundly 
ignorant when the members of our Church, together \\\t\\ 
the citizens of the community generally, united in the little 
shanty of the IMethodist meeting-house in Tuscaloosa and 
formed a 'Missionary Association' to Christianize and edu- 
cate the two large tribes of Indians— Chickasaws and Choc- 
taws — our immediate neighbors. The lapse of over sixty 
years has not effaced the remembrance of my feelings when, 
after all the preliminaries had been finished, the writer was 
urged by the unanimous vote of the society to visit the 
Choctaws, to obtain the consent of the chiefs and council to 
admit missionaries, and if successful, to select a site for a 
school, nominate a superintendent, and report so soon as 
possible. All which was done, as heretofore related, while 
prosecuting this enterj^rise. After consulting the United 
States official representative in the Choctaw Nation, and 
being assured of a cordial welcome, and when seeking a lo- 
cation for a school, I was taken ill of a malarial fever, and 
was detained so long, and so enfeebled, that I was obliged 
to give over the further effort to explore the country. I 
had, however, the pleasure of reporting to our association 
that the Avay was open, and that the vicinity of the 'Six 
Towns' was by common consent recommended as the best 
location for the school. I was also authorized to nominate 
Nicholas T. Sneed as willing to take charge of it if the soci- 
ety and the Conference would go promptly into it. 

" Why this attempt to send the blessed gosi^el with its train 



ETSIIOP OF THE ]\r. E. CITURCII, POI'Tir. 



of civil, social, and religious influences was not carried for- 
ward at once, I know not. Early in the fall I loft the coun- 
try to attend the Tennessee Conference. Ilearn, Kenau, 
and Sneed fell into the Mississippi Conference, and by the 
act of the General Conference that whole section of country 
was attached to the Mississippi Conference. 

"A few years later, through the labors of the Conference 
missionaries — the Talleys especially — an extraordinary re- 
vival occurred in that tribe. Hersey and the Presbyterian 
Mission had prepared the way, while Folsom, Le Flore, and 
other Choctaw chiefs, were instrumental in a glorious work 
of moral and religious benefit to the whole Nation. 

"It is not surprising that ethnology, the science Avhich 
treats of the different races of men, should be an interesting 
subject to an intelligent people ; for while obscurity rests like 
a cloud over the origin and primeval history of nearly all 
nations, it is natural to desire to know as much as possible 
of our aucGstr}'. AVhat labor and expense Iiave been de- 
voted to this subject in unraveling the mysteries of African, 
Egyptian, Grecian, and Roman antiquities! The more 
cultured a people become, the more interest they take in 
their early history. A. thoroughly barbarous people are 
utterly indifferent to such topics. May not such thoughts 
suggest sufficient apology for some remarks upon the history 
of the great tribes contiguous to my circuit? 

"The Chickasaws and Choctaws were evidently of the 
same stock — their similarity in language, personal appear- 
ance, customs, and traditions clearly den^ionstrating this I'act. 
They, like most of the red race in the United States, claim 
to have migrated from the North-west; and while other 
tribes, who hold themselves to be of North-western origin, 
affirm that their ancestors continued to travel eastward to 
the Atlantic slope, these tribes believe their fathers, after 
crossing the IMississippi River, turned south-west and settled 



1G4 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

where authentic history found them several centuries ago. 
The Cherokees and Muscogees, or Creeks, have substantially 
the same tradition. Naturalists say they belong to the 
great 'Apjmlachian' family of Indians. The Appalachian, 
'the long or endless mountain,' was the name given by De 
Soto and early Spanish authorities to the great range of 
mountains, including its plateaus and parallel ridges, which, 
leaving Canada, passed through Vermont, New York, Penn- 
sylvania, and on southerly, diverging from the Atlantic 
coast -line, and subsiding in Georgia and Alabama, and 
abounding (throughout its Avhole extent generally) in coal, 
iron, and other minerals. The south-western extremity of 
this range reaches into North Mississippi, separating the 
tributaries of the Mississippi from those that fall into the 
Bay of Mobile. The English called it the Alleghany range, 
but De Soto and the Spanish discoverers, the Appalachian. 
Other names have been given to certain parts of it, as 
'Blue Bidge,' 'Cumberland,' etc., but Appalachian was 
probably its earliest name for the whole range. Geology 
indicates that the larger part of it was of earlier date than 
the Andes or Alps. Over a great part of tliis territory, es- 
pecially the southern, the mysterious old Natchez race, the 
Cherokees, Creeks, and their associate tribes, were found 
when the whole race invaded that region, and hence the 
country gave the name to its inha])itants. How the tribes 
change their locations is illustrated by the Delawares, Shaw- 
uees, and others, once residing on the Atlantic slope, but now 
in Kansas and the North-west ; and to what extent the tribes 
have mixed is indicated by the facts that Tecumseh's mother 
was a Creek, while he and his brother — the Proj^het — were 
Shawnees, and were found on the borders of Canada in the 
war of 1812. The Choctaws and Chickasaws were less mi- 
gratory in dispositi )n than usual with the other tribes; for 
while it is said they descended from two brothers, and have 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHUPXH, SOUTH. 1G5 

always lived close together, they have retained their sepa- 
rate tribal and political distinctions to a remarkable degree. 
Even the fierce savage wars which on several occasions have 
burst forth between them have ceased as suddenly as they 
began. About equal in population, in intellectual culture, 
and in industrial improvements, they have respected each oth- 
er's rights as good neighbors and true friends ; and when it 
has been otherwise, the fault has been in the whites. Hav- 
ing visited them while living here, and repeatedly in their 
new homes west of the Mississippi, I gladly testify that this 
applies to them now. 

" The first authentic account we have of these two great 
tribes is their invasion by Fernando De Soto. This very 
remarkable man had distinguished himself as a Spanish cav- 
alier under Pizarro, in the conquest of Peru, about the time 
of Luther's appearance, in obedience to the command of 
Charles V., before the ' Diet of Worms.' Having returned 
to Spain loaded with the spoils of that infamous war, he 
asked and obtained the royal consent to organize an army 
and a fleet to return to America as commander-in-chief, and 
invade and attach to the Kingdom of Spain the far-famed 
Florida. Having married the beautiful Bobadilla, daughter 
of a royal favorite, and collected a large force of the most 
gallant spirits in Spain, he set sail, with the knights and 
some of their wives, to rendezvous at the Island of Cuba. 
There he left the ladies and proceeded in full force to Tampa 
Bay where he landed. May 30, 1539. This was the largest 
and most formidable army that had ever invaded the con- 
tinent. From the time he burned his transports, and thus 
cut off all means of returning to Spain, his conduct admits 
of no explanation but that he was seeking to find Ponce de 
Leon's imaginary Fountain of Health, or the fabulous YA 
Dorado gold and diamond mines. Hence he spent some time 
in exploring Florida; thence into Georgia; thence, turning 



166 LIFE OF FvOBEKT PAINE, D.D. 

south-west, he struck the Alabama River, and had a te»Ti])le 
battle with the Indian fort situated on the river and under 
the noted chief Tuscaloosa. The Spaniards call it Mau- 
villa; it is described as being on the north bank of the Ala- 
bama River, and about twenty-five miles above its junction 
with the Tonil)igbee. Passing up the latter, he is said to 
have crossed the Black Warrior near where Erie now stands, 
after a fierce battle of two days with the Choctaws. Con- 
tinuing his course. Picket and others say, De Soto crossed the 
Bigbee — or Little Tombigbee — near Waverly, in Lowndes 
county, Miss., not far below the mouth of the Buttahatchie, 
and took the buffalo trail up the 2:)rairie region. The 
Tibbee, being the line between the Choctaws and Chick- 
asaws, enters the Bigbee just below where he crossed it ; his 
way henceforth was among the latter tribe, and not far 
from the present Mobile and Ohio railroad. This level and 
beautiful prairie, running north for forty miles along a well- 
beaten buffalo trail, was the best possible way for his artil- 
lery and stock; and upon reaching the neighborhood of the 
Chickasaw 'Council House,' not far from the Pontotoc 
ridge, he went into winter-quarters. The place of encamp- 
ment was fertile, near the largest village in the Nation, and 
in the most populous part — abounding in maize and other 
valuable products. The Spaniards were not likely to fore- 
go the use of these advantages, and the Indians feared to 
resent it." 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CnURCII, SOUTH. 167 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

"Notes of Life" Continued — The "Vexed Question" — Pre- 
siDiNa Elder Controversy — Change of Conference 
Lines — Sectarianism — Divorce — Divining Kod — Keligious 
Controversy — James "W. Fariss. 

THE influence of the political agitation ^vhicli ended in 
the "Missouri Compromise" was felt in the religious 
assemblies of the people. The intensity of conviction 
which causes good men to make war against a supposed 
evil sometimes gains its ends at the cost of Christian char- 
ity. The price is too much to pay for any human suc- 
cess. One instance of peace and quiet obtained by unwor- 
thy means is valuable as an indication of the resources of 
Divine Providence in the affiiirs of men : 

" This Conference, like that immediately preceding it, w^as 
held in Nashville, Tennessee, and began about October 1, 
1819. Nor did it differ materially in its tone and temper 
from it. If it did it was in its intensity of opposition to the 
bestowment of orders and ofiices upon slave-holders, and 
those suspected of sympathizing with them. To such a de- 
gree was this carried that, however worthy and well quali- 
fied in other respects for admission on trial or for ordination 
as local or traveling preachers a candidate might be, he was 
sure to be rejected if connected with the great evil. It 
mattered not though the State laws forbade it, or any thing 
else rendered it improper or impracticable. The question 
was not whether slavery was an evil, but how to remedy it. 
Both admitted that it was a social and ^^^litical evil, and in 
many cases a moral evil, but the South generally claimed 



1G8 LIFE OF ROBERT RAINE, D.D. 



that it "was not evil per se, but an evil inherited — the only 
proper remedy for it being a gradual emancipation under 
the sanction of legislation, after due notice and preparation. 
So stringently was the opinion of the ultraists carried out 
by the majority at this session that a large and able minor- 
ity felt constrained to sign a protest against their action and 
forward it to the General Conference, to meet the next year. 
They were T. L. Douglass, W. McMahon, Lewis Garrett, 
T. D. Porter, Barnabas McHenry, Wm. Stribling, John 
Johnson, Thos. Stringfield, Henry B. Bascom, Benjamin 
Edge, and others. Of course none of them were elected to 
the General Conference. One thing that served to indicate 
the unfortunate partisan feeling which pervaded the whole 
action of the majority in this affair 'was that under their 
influence at the General Conference, May, 1820, the Ten- 
nessee Conference was divided so as to bring the Kentucky 
line to the Cumberland River at ISTashville, and just below 
there across the river, and thence west, thus throwing sev- 
eral circuits and a large territory out of its proper relation. 
By this process the new Conference was larger and far more 
compact and desirable than the other, leaving the old Ten- 
nessee Conference a long, narrow strip, reaching from the 
Alleghany ^lountains to the Mississippi River, with only 
four small districts ; two of these lay east of the Cumber- 
land Mountain. Of course all the delegates, except one or 
two who got presiding elderships, fell into the new Confer- 
ence. This kind of ecclesiastical gerrymandering appeared 
wrong to some of us, and I set myself against it henceforth. 
The result, however, was, we had peace afterward." 

The agitation which began with James O'Kelly, as far 
back as 1790 or 1791, continued, wdth disastrous results in 
many sections of the country, for more than thirty years. 
At first, Mr. O'Kelly desired that the preacher appointed 
by a Bishop might have an ai)peal to the Annual Confer- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 



1G9 



ciK'c, Avhose decision should be final. Failing to overthrow 
INIethodist episcopacy by this measure, the next proposition 
was a very plausible one, but not less revolutionary in its 
character. As the Bishops could not know the wants and 
necessities of every station or circuit, and the capacities and 
abilities of the preachers must be, in a large measure, un- 
known to the responsible power appointing the pastors of 
the flock, it was proposed to make the presiding elder an 
elective officer. The Bishop naming two or more members 
of the body, the Conference decided by vote which of 
these should be a member of the " Bishop's Council." This 
measure seemed harmless to many, but the keen eye of 
Joshua Soule saw in it the entering wedge for the destruc- 
tion of the whole economy of Methodism. In this view of 
the subject Bishop McKendree concurred, and the firm, 
heroic conduct of these two men preserved the constitution 
of the Church. 

" The third delegated General Conference of our Church 
began May 1, 1820, in Baltimore, Maryland, and was dis- 
tinguished by several important events. Eobert R. Eoberts 
and Enoch George had been elected and consecrated Bish- 
ops at the previous General Conference in 1816, as William 
McKendree had been at the first, held in John Street, New 
York, in 1812. 

''The decease of Bishop Asbury, in 1816, and the infirm 
health of Bishop McKendree, had devolved too much labor 
upon the Bishops, and it was determined to elect another. 
Joshua Soule was duly announced as elected, and the time 
and place of consecration were agreed upon. In the mean- 
time the Conference had adopted a series of resolutions 
making the presiding elders elective, and constituting them, 
by law, a council, who, conjointly with the Bishop presid- 
ing in the Annual Conference, should station the preach- 
ers. After mature deliberation and consultation, the senior 



170 LIFE OF ROBERT RAINE, D.D. 

Bishop, McKendree, concluded that the delegated General 
Conference exceeded its authority in conferring the power 
of selecting the presiding elders, with the right of fixing 
the aiDpointments, and thus to this extent controlling the 
action and superseding the power of the episcopacy, who 
alone are responsible for the administration of the disci- 
pline. Furthermore, that such interference with the right- 
ful authority of the Bishops was an infringement of the con- 
stitution of the Church, as set forth in the restrictions im- 
posed by the convention on the powers and privileges of 
the delegated General Conference in its organization in 
1808. 

"From the organization of the Church there had been 
some in every session of the General Conference in favor of 
restraining or abolishing the powder of the Bishops in sta- 
tioning the preachers and choosing the presiding elders; 
but there had always been a decided majority against them. 
In 1812 this majority had been much smaller. In 1820, 
after considerable discussion, the sul)ject was referred to a 
committee of three from each side to confer with the Bish- 
ops, and report. At the first meeting of the Bishops and 
committee they failed to agree. At the next meeting a 
similar result was likely to occur, but upon verbal expla- 
nations as to the import of the 'compromise' measures 
proposed, and from a great anxiety for peace, a plan was 
presented and accepted to quiet all parties. 

" For reasons already stated, and others strongly set forth 
by the senior Bishop and the Bishop elect, the latter declined 
to be ordained. Several members of the committee, upon 
more careful examination of the report, withdrew their sig- 
natures, and the resolutions were suspended until the next • 
quadrennial session. Of course these resolutions came up 
in 1824, when they were indefinitely suspended. In 1828 
the kindred question of lay representation received its 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 171 

quietus by adopting the report of Dr. J. Emory, chairman 
of the committee on that subject. Thus the two principal 
elements of trouble Avere apparently, and I trust really 
and forever, consigned to repose, except in such a constitu- 
tional and peaceable Avay as the interest of the whole Church 
may require modification." 

Errors in legislation ought always to be corrected by the 
authority that committed the errors. Resistance to law, how- 
ever unjust the law may be, need not be resorted to, when 
good men, and Christian men, hold the reins of government. 
An illustration of the prevalence of reason over ^^assion is 
furnished in the following paragraph : 

"It was scarcely possible for the delegation from the 
Tennessee Conference to the General Conference of 1820 to 
escape the suspicion of unfairness in the division of the work 
between the Tennessee and Kentucky Conferences, since all 
the prominent men elected belonged to one party, and fell 
into pretty much the same region. It is a good old saying 
that no man is a fair judge in his own case. Our personal 
interests warp our judgment. It was thought to be so in 
this instance. A list of the appointments and a map of the 
country show this, as to this point. Yet good men and 
true did it. The dividing line — an ecclesiastical isothermal 
one — while it left Nashville, with a few miles above and be- 
low, in the Tennessee Conference, scooped down south of the 
Cumberland River on both sides of Nashville, leaving the 
old Conference, as it was called, a ' shoe-string affair.' So 
strong and general was the opinion that this was unfair 
that the next session — 1824 — corrected it at once." 

In the early days there were not a few " men of high de- 
gree" who affected a sublime contempt for Methodism and 
Methodist ^oreachers. An amusing instance of this unseemly 
pride is related by the Bishop : 

" My appointment for 1820-21 was to Murfreesboro and 



172 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



Shelby ville, two flourishing towns about thirty miles apart, 
and seats of justice for two of the most populous and pro- 
ductive counties of the State. Each had a population of 
about two thousand, with large public buildings, but in 
neither was there any Methodist meeting-house. In each 
there was a Presbyterian Church, and regular preaching l3y 
the same pastor, who lived in INIuifreesboro, and served them 
alternately. He was a venerable minister, a witty, incisive 
character, whose influence was felt by his people and the 
community. His Calvinism was of the Hopkinsian type. 
He regarded himself as liberal toward other denominations, 
but had enjoyed a monopoly of clerical honors and perqui- 
sites in that community so long that he felt almost instinct- 
ively that any other pastor there v/as an intrusion. It was 
a long time after I had begun my w-ork before he professed 
to have heard of me. I held service of nights in a large 
unoccupied old house, and preached in the court-house on 
Sunday. A great revival had occurred during the summer 
before I arrived, and hundreds had professed conversion at 
Windrow's and other camp -meetings. Many joined our 
Church, and the excitement continued at our meetings in 
the towns under my pastoral charge. The number and~ the 
class of attendants and professors were such that it would 
not do to ignore the work, or the ' Methodist circuit-rider,' 
any longer. A very formal visit was paid me — a short, pat- 
ronizing talk was delivered, with suggestions as to a change 
of the time of holding my meetings. He had for several 
years past discontinued night services, except on special oc- 
casions — doubted if a conflict of appointments at eleven 
o'clock on Sunday was best. That had been his hour so long 
it could not be changed. Of course upon sacramental occa- 
sions I and my members would attend, although he was never 
seen in our meetings. Union is l)cautiful. AVas in favor of 
revivals, but rarely failed to ridicule them, unless some (;f 



BISIIOr OF THE M. E. CIIUIIC'II, SOUTH. 173 

his elders, Avhose children had lately joined the Methodists, 
were present. Young as I was, I was not so green as he 
. thought. He was a good man, but intensely sectarian." 

One of those questions which concern the very existence 
of society receives the following notice at the hands of the 
Bishop: 

"Murfrecsboro was then the seat of the Legislature, and 
the court-house, which was my place for preaching, was also 
the place where the Legislature held its sessions. Both the 
Senate and the House invited me to act as chaplain, and I 
therefore continued to use it as a church during the whole 
time. It was during one of these years that a very large 
number of petitions for divorce was presented. Among the 
rest, and at the heading of the list, was one from the ex- 
Governor of the State — Mims, I believe. The Speaker of 
the House, Sterling Brewer, was a prominent Methodist — a 
number of the members of both houses had professed re- 
ligion during a reviv il at that session, Felix Grundy among 
them. The Assembly conscientiously hesitated to take up 
the question of divorce, and the Speaker addressed me, by 
request of the body, to preach expressly upon the subject, 
and I could not refuse to do so. Two or three days before 
the time for preaching upon the subject came, the reverend 
and venerable Valentine Cook, of Kentucky, arrived in the 
town, and at my solicitation, and the concurrence of the 
Assembly, became my substitute. Never did that singularly 
powerful preacher appear to greater advantage. Taking 
the New Testament stand-point, and explaining it clearly 
and fully, he viewed the question in its various bearings, 
and closed with an earnest protest against all divorces out- 
side of the sanction of the great Lawgiver. The whole 
batch of petitions was 'non-concurred in,' and I think that 
in Tennessee that question has been ever since relegated to 
the courts. The result has been, each case has ])eeu tried 



174 LLFE OF PvOEERT PAINE, D.D. 

upon its merits, a few divorces granted, and a higher esti- 
mate stamped upon the public mind of the sanctity of the 
marriage contract, while the time and money of the State 
have been saved for better purposes." 

Always and everywhere a student of natural science, 
Bishop Paine in his early manhood had opportunities for 
contrasting the revelations of true science with the preten- 
sions and delusions of charlatans. About the truth of the 
"divining rod" as a revealer of mineral deposits, he i:)ro- 
nounces a definite opinion, and relates an incident which 
carries its own moral: 

"Having just now mentioned two names, Valentine Cook 
and Sterling Brewer, an incident which occurred five years 
later is vividly recalled in unrolling that wonderful volume 
called Memory. I was then the presiding elder of the Nash- 
ville District, and the guest, for a day, of my friend Brewer. 
He was no longer ' the Speaker ' of the House — had been a 
rich man, having a large and valuable farm, with many 
slaves, several valuable houses, lots, etc., in towns, and 
withal a liberal and consistent Church-member. No man in 
Dickson county was more respected. His wife and family 
were worthy such a head. In the midst of his prosperous 
and happy surroundings a stranger obtruded, and after gain- 
ing the confidence of his host, uncovered his pretensions as 
a mineralogist, and avowed his ability to find metals and 
salt-water by the 'divining rod.' Every day he might be 
found slowly and silently walking through the forests in the 
vicinity of Brewer's house. My friend was noted for his 
sound, practical sense — a man of affairs. Speaker in the 
Legislature twenty yeare, and heretofore successful in all he 
had undertaken — apparently the last man to be the victim 
of superstition or imposture. I believe the element of su- 
perstition is, to soms degree, in every man. It was in 
Brewer. Salt developed it. Gradually his strange visitor, 



BISIIOr OF THE M. E. CllUrX'ir, SOUTH. 175 

by hints and winks, revealed the secret that there was a 
mint of wealth on his land in salt-water streams, which con- 
verged and made a big stream on the land of Brewer. Se- 
crecy was enjoined, and a promise to find it shortly after a 
visit to his family was given. With perhaps a small ad- 
vance of money to pay traveling expenses and procure some 
necessary utensils, etc., Brewer followed his friend as he took 
the meandering streams over hills and valleys, found the 
point where they met, and where it was declared the largest 
amount of salt-water could be found that was ever known in 
the South-west. Brewer marked the track of these mysteri- 
ous streams, and kept the secret for some time. He was not 
yet converted. He got an old settler, who had figured on 
that line years ago, to walk over his land ; without knowing 
it, this man confirmed the statement of the first one. This 
shook the solid frame-work of Brev.er's mind. Salt was in 
great demand. None to be had this side of West Virginia; 
if by a reasonable outlay he could settle the question, why 
not try it? Just then he learned that Valentine Cook, Pres- 
ident of the Methodist College in Kentucky, under the au- 
spices of Asbury — distinguished for learning, piety, and use- 
fulness — was an expert in chemistry, electricity, and kindred 
subjects, and believed in the ^ divining rod.' He was invited 
to visit Brewer and give his opinion. He came, and, ignorant 
of what the others had done, struck and followed to their junc- 
tion the Streams, and said he believed that at that place 
there was mineral-water — at what depth and to what amount 
it might be, he could not say ; he believed there was salt 
there. Brewer had begun to dig; he soon struck a hard 
crystalline limestone bed, and afler three years' boring — 
reaching several hundred feet — his auger broke; his farm 
had gone to waste, his stores and other real estate had been 
mortgaged, his slaves sold, and in a few years I buried him 
from a humble rented house in Nashville. A Christian 



176 LIFE OF FtOCERT PA INK, D.D. 



gentleman to the last — his memory honored, his surviving 
family respected, and his large estate bankrupt, or buried in 
the deep hole the ' divining rod ' had dug. Standing with 
him at the fatal place, I learned these facts from him; and 
when I asked him if in those seven years of ceaseless toil 
and anxiety he had come across any mineral-water of any 
kind, he replied : ' We thought we found a brackish taste 
once, after having bored more than three hundred feet of 
solid rock — the whole work was in the same hardest crys- 
tallized limestone. We were every day hoping to find salt, 
and never did ; desperation followed this fascination, when 
the auger broke near the bottom at the depth of about one 
thousand feet, and all my means were exhausted.' What a 
pity it seems that some intelligent mineralogist or geologist 
did not tell him that, although salt is more Avidely distrib- 
uted than any other mineral, because it is the only mineral 
universally needed by animals of the highest order, yet its 
true geological position is not in such a locality. In ten 
minutes he could have learned at Vanderbilt that it was use- 
less to expend his life and fortune in the effort. 

" For hundreds of years the agents and the principles in- 
volved in the 'divining rod' have attracted attention; the 
wise and educated, as well as the simple and superstitious, 
have been excited about it. The phenomena claimed for it 
have been attributed to electricity and magnetism, or as 
wdiolly imaginary self-deception, while others ho4d it all to 
be a bald im2:)osture. Nobody has sought to dignify it by 
claiming it as a science. It is not sufficiently sustained by 
facts. Like clairvoyance and mesmerism, but not so strong- 
ly supported ; feeble as is their support, there may be some- 
thing in it, but who knows how much, or what there is of 
importance to our race ? The key to unlock many of nat- 
ure's secrets has not yet been discovered." 

Writing in the retirement of his own delightful home, 



Bisiior or THE m. k. cinnKir, souTir. 177 



and recalling, at the age of eighty-one, the scenes and inci- 
dents of his early career. Bishop Paine records his views 
upon the subject of religious controversy: 

" Controversy — religious controversy especially— is gener- 
ally unpopular at present, and whoever engages in it is like- 
ly to be discounted. The world calls it quarreling, and 
most members of the Church prefer peace upon any terms 
to public discussion upon doctrinal points. Indeed, many 
who belong to the various denominations attach very little 
importance to creeds. And while the temper which prompts 
this is to a great extent highly commendable, it is to be feared 
that the underlying feeling is too often ignorance or indif- 
ference. The most intelligent and earnest minds hold the 
truth in the highest estimation, and are foremost in its de- 
fense. Biblical truths are of the highest importance, because 
they reveal the purpose of our existence and the method of 
attaining it. To apprehend the one and follow the other is 
therefore preeminently our first duty. Too many, like Pi- 
late, ask in a querulous spirit, 'What is truth?' and like 
him, without waiting or wishing for an answer, immediately 
turn round to resume the work of detraction. But while 
we advocate both the right and duty to discuss publicly the 
fundamental doctrines and institutes of Christianity, we as 
decisively oppose all personalities, bitterness, and sectarian- 
ism as unbecoming the pulpit and the cause. The fact that 
the speaker has a monopoly, and cannot be replied to with- 
out an apparent discourtesy, should restrain him. AVhen- 
ever any thing but truth becomes the object, the pulpit is 
perverted. The discussion may be earnest, but it must be 
respectful. A coarse anecdote, a rude personality, or a 
ringing laugh do not pass for logic or scripture in this 
court. While we gladly recognize and appreciate the fact 
that ;Methodism owes its origin and its early triumphs not 
to its formularies as to its polity or its creed, but to its 



178 LIFE OF EGBERT PAINE, D.D. 

spiritual elements, yet if it had not been so ably defined 
and defended by Wesley, Fletcher, and others, as a consist- 
ent and scri^^tural analysis of Bible doctrines, it ^Yould not 
have won its way so rapidly, and harmonized and crystal- 
lized its disciples into one great homogeneous body. What 
M-as urged by the friends of the great Duke of Marlborough, 
in pleading that his life be spared, *He had fought a hun- 
dred j3itched battles for England, and not one against her,' 
may be repeated for Wesley and his associates in contend- 
ing for ' religion pure and undefiled.' Throughout his long 
life he fought for God and truth. The weapons of his war- 
fare were not carnal. He held the truth as it is in Jesus, 
and gathered his im2:)lements from the sacred armory. It 
was easier to refute his logic than to ruffle his temper. 
Either was rarely done, although both were often attempt- 
ed. Christian polemics finds its brightest exemplars in the 
writings of Wesley and Fletcher. The latter combined the 
genius of Pascal and Junius, but surpassed the former in 
suavity and the latter in ingenuous incisiveness. The adop- 
tion of their writings as text-books in the course of study by 
our fathers provided a literature scarcely less important than 
the hymnology in which scriptural doctrines were crystal- 
lized into sacred song by the poetic genius of the Wesleys. 
As occasion rec[uired, others who were 'set for the defense 
of the gospel' have come to confront teachers of erroneous 
and strange doctrines. 

" Many years ago, while engaged in making appointments, 
I found my advisers hesitating to nominate a preacher for a 
certain populous community, and after awhile asked the rea- 
son. The reply was that it was a people so generally and 
decidedly under the influence of another doctrinal belief 
that it had been thought best to attempt but little there for 
awhile, and that it would be a i)ity to send them a very 
jiromising young minister — it looked like sacrificing too 



LISIIOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 179 

much. Tliis course had been pursued several years. To 
this view I demurred, and asked my presiding elders how 
that peo})le were getting on, morally and religiously. * Very 
badly — from bad to worse — no signs of improvement.' Do 
you really believe their teachers are in serious error, and 
that Methodist teachings are ris-ht and are needed there, 
and that you have among you preachers who are fully com- 
petent, or can make themselves competent, to defend our 
doctrines and customs against all opponents? They an- 
swered affirmatively. I then made an appointment, and 
enjoined it upon them to select their best young men, and 
to induce them to prepare for the defense, and in the spirit 
of love to enter the lists whenever challenged. I have 
learned that they have done so, and a decided change of the 
situation has occurred. In the early years of my accjuaint- 
ance with Methodism, her creed was bitterly opposed and 
her ministers derided. Every other denomination seemed 
united in opposing it, however disagreeing among them- 
selves. Calvinism, in some form or other, was dominant, 
and Methodism was the target at which they all pointed 
their artillery. 

"A controlling influence was persistently sought over the 
public literary institutions of the country; and they had 
almost a monopoly of them. Hence almost all the men 
who attained eminence in j^olitical and professional circles 
were disinclined toward our Church, and so strong and gen- 
eral was this influence that our children were often ashamed 
of being known as of Methodist parentage, and in many 
cases were alienated for life from our Church. A sense of 
duty, therefore, impelled our preachers to begin the defense 
of our doctrines and polity from the pulpit and press, and 
by patronizing schools and colleges of our own. By our 
love for our children, our regard for truth, and the highest 
and holiest claims of piety and philanthropy, we were con- 



180 LIFE OF ROBERT TAINE, D.D. 



strained to enter upon the struggle, and to continue it in every 
fair and Christian way. In vain have the schools founded and 
sustained by the liberality of our members and friends been 
stiofmatized as sectarian in contradistinction to those created 
and supported by county and State taxation ; intelligent and 
impartial men cannot appreciate the logic by which the name 
of a thing changes its character, nor how it comes to pass 
that a Methodist who is taxed to support a public school 
where Calvinistic influence dominates may not also pay 
voluntarily for one where no such adverse influence exists, 
without being branded as sectarian. Doubtless competent 
and faithful teachers do exert influence over their pupils, 
and while no unfair means of proselytism are used it is not 
seriously objectionable — it is the natural result of the rela- 
tion of the parties, and the teacher's merits are the measure 
of his controlling power." 

A life-like picture of one of the early heroes of Method- 
ism is given by the Bishop in the following extract from 
the "Notes of Life:" 

"James W. Fariss was a notable character, Avitli whom I 
formed an acquaintance this year. He belonged to a large 
family of sturdy citizens, most of whom were Methodists, 
residing near Winchester, Tenn. He was then about thirty 
years old, v.as a farmer, had been lately licensed as a local 
preacher, and had a wife with several children. His physique 
was striking — six feet high, broad-chested, an athlete in form 
and prowess, with a long aquiline nose, Grecian profile, and 
large gray, dreamy eyes. He was retiring and reticent, and 
seemed to be meditative and sad. Nature had made him of 
her finest mold, and stamped him with the signet for a poet 
and an orator. He was born such, but sadly marred in his 
making up. Under other circumstances he might have been 
a Burns or a Goldsmith. He could not help being an ora- 
tor. Before he fairly grew to manhood, and before his con- 



lusiiop or THE m. e. church, south. 181 

version, he was devoted to fun and frolic, to the violin and 
dancino;. He was the leader on all such occasions. But a 
change came over the sjjirit of his dreams. While I never 
heard it reported that he indulged in low and vulgar hab- 
its — from all which his sincere love for his pious wife and 
little children saved him — yet residing near a town where 
his genial social qualities and his musical talents, ready wit, 
and pleasant manners rendered his presence desirable on all 
festive occasions, his associates sadly missed his companioUi- 
ship ; insomuch that when he awoke from the delirium of 
carnal amusements, he at once resolved to rid himself of 
all the allurements of his surroundings. With the simple 
statement to his wife that he was, as he feared, a lod man, 
he took a Bible and left home. In a recess or cave of the 
mountain it is said he hid himself, and there in solitude, like 
Jacob, he wrestled with God. There he thought, read his 
Bible, wept over his sins, and again and again poured out 
his soul in importunate prayer, having resolved not to desist 
or return until the great question was settled. How long 
he staid I know not ; I think several days. His family and 
friends became alarmed, and searched for him in vain. A 
report got out that he had become insane. His old com- 
panions could not understand it otherwise. Ko doubt the 
retirement of Jacob on the memorable night of his conver- 
sion seemed unnatural and unaccountable to his family and 
attendants; but he knew what he was doing, and it was the 
crisis in his history, and the wisest act of his eventful life. 
Like Jacob, he struggled with 'the angel' until he tri- 
umphed, and could say, ' I know thee. Saviour, whom thou 
art;' and then went down the mountain to spend the re- 
mainder of his life in telling to others the wonders of re- 
deeming love. His conversion produced a profound sensa- 
tion throughout the country, and his deportment, at once 
so humble, zealous, and consistent, gave great force to his 



182 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



efforts to do good. Soon after this great change he joined 
the Church, and in due time was licensed to preach. Ar- 
ranging his temporal interests, he entered the traveling con- 
nection, and after many years of toil and sacrifice, died in 
the Western District of Tennessee, lamented and loved by 
thousands. 

" I have said he was a natural orator, with a meditative 
and rather melancholy cast of mind, and a deeply devoted 
Christian. There were days when he seemed absorbed and 
disinclined to mix in society. He would perform his duties 
and retire, or remain silent. He prayed much in secret. He 
was not rude or unapproachable ; in his family always gen- 
tle and forbearing. To guile, envy, and malevolence he Avas 
a stranger. He loved God and all men. In his preaching 
he was irregular, sometimes commonplace, generally enter- 
taining and attractive, and occasionally almost resistless. 
He had all the qualities and endowments of a great orator, 
except those resulting from mental culture. His fancy was 
fine ; his imagination of the highest order ; his illustrations 
were strikingly natural and apt; his voice, like his touches 
on his favorite violin, of which he was once confessedly a 
thorough master, was of great compass, gliding now sweetly 
and softly, the perfection of musical tones, and, as he warmed 
in his theme, gradually swelling ; and if it involved the great 
issues of * eternal judgment,' his soul glow^ed, his features 
assumed an expression of awe and earnestness, his form 
rose, and his voice broke upon his audience like the thun- 
ders of Sinai over the trembling, awe-stricken hosts of Is- 
rael. Then he was terrible. An instance of this, which 
will never be forgotten by any one of the thousands pres- 
ent, was his sermon at Mountain Spring Camp-ground, North 
Alabama, in 1829. His text was 'the barren fig-tree.' 
The concourse was immense, made up mainly of aAvealthy, 
intelligent, and fashionable people. They were hospitable 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 183 

and well-behaved, but the best efforts of the most gifted 
preachers had failed. The praying and faithfid few were 
discouraged and despondent, when Sunday brought out a 
great multitude. Fariss was appointed to preach, and hav- 
ing spent the morning in a retired spot in the forest in soli- 
tude with God, he entered the stand at the minute, and be- 
gan the services. Slowly at first the scattered groups began 
to assemble. The sweet song and the short, fervent prayer 
settled and solemnized them, and the sermon began. It is 
useless to attempt a description of the sermon. Suffice it to 
say that as he proceeded the interest and emotions of the 
hearers, and the magnetic power of the preacher filled with 
the Holy Ghost, held the lately seething and restless crowd 
as if spell-bound in soul and body, increasing in intensity 
every minute, until he came to the sentence denounced upon 
the fruitless tree; then summoning all his resources, and 
unconsciously personating the avenger, he began to ^ eid 
down,' Stroke after stroke fell, and still the glittering 
blade rose and fell, until all classes of sinners and barren 
professors were ruthlessly hewn down and hurled into the 
abysmal depths of unquenchable burning. There was )io 
more preaching that day or the ensuing night — no chance 
for it nor need of it. Hundreds rushed to the altar; many 
could not get there, and therefore fell on their knees. The 
tents, the encampment, and surrounding forest were full of 
groups of penitents, and all night long the sounds of prayer 
and praise were mingled. Over two hundred were num- 
bered as converts, and as many went away to change their 
lives, and try to bear fruit unto eternal life. 

" Let it not be supposed that the ' terrors of the Lord ' 
were his favorite themes, or topics, in which his genius was 
chiefly developed. Divine love, as evinced in creation, 
providence, and especially in redemption, was the subject 
in which he seemed to revel as a congenial element. Among 



184 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

the most vivid pictures photographed on the tablet of a 
memory croAvded by the incidents of a long life is that of a 
short sermon I heard from him at La Grange College, Ala- 
bama, about 1831, ^vhile he was in charge of the circuit. 
It was upon Sunday — one of the coldest days of a winter 
memorable as the coldest and lougest experienced in this 
country, the thermometer falling to ten degrees below zero 
on the northern side of my residence on College Hill. At 
the signal for preaching the congregation assembled in a 
large, rather dilapidated room upon the campus — the chai3el 
then not finished. The Faculty, students, citizens of the vil- 
lage, and several planters from the beautiful valley, filled 
the house, while a bright fire crackled in the wide, old- 
fashioned fire-place. The earth had been frozen for a week 
or two, and a fresh snow and sleet storm had been followed 
by a cloudless morning, with a fierce north wind, which 
seemed to pierce to the bones and marrow of the shivering 
audience. Not a particle of an icicle melted under the rays 
of the midday sun. We croAvded into the well-ventilated old 
room, and nobody objected to being wedged a little, for Far- 
iss was to j^reach — and Ave only hoped the talk Avould be 
a short one ; if not short, it might be one of his SAveet talks. 
And so it Avas — short, SAveet ; and much more, it Avas spark- 
ling, rich, and agloAv Avith piety. After quoting a Averse or 
two of one of David's inimitable outbursts of mingled ado- 
ration and praise, Avhich ahvays sound to me like the cho- 
ral symphonies of universal created being to the un\^eiling 
dcA'elopments of the mysteries of God's i)roA'idence and 
grace, he repeated it: 'God is good — good in all he does, in 
all he alloAvs, and in all he does not.' Descanting aAvhi.^j; 
upon his theme as it is seen in creation and in 2>i'<)vidence, 
he seized the occasion to illustrate it : 'It is cold — very cold 
— and so it has been for many days. A l)right sun to-day 
fails to thaAV the frozen earth. But avc have the sun, and 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 185 



are sure he Avill stay, and triiiiiii)li at last.' Then began 
one of those bright, poetic conceptions which, considering 
his education, seemed wonderful. It was impromptu — he 
had perhaps never heard of Milton, ^lontgomery, or Byron. 
'But suppose the sun should fail to rise to-morrow.' Then 
turning to the planters, in substance he said: 'Some of you 
are used to getting up before day-break now — you want to 
be ready to go to work as soon as you can. You get rest- 
less, disturb your wife and children, and make your negroes 
get up, feed the stock, and prepare for work. The night is 
too long — you are greedy of big crops and of money. Sup- 
pose the sun does not respond to your old clock on the man- 
tel and your almanac-time. You scold at the meddling of 
some one with the clock. All deny it. Another hour is 
struck, another, and another, until it is evident the great 
clock-work of the world is out of order.' Then he described 
the consternation and universal horror pervading and in- 
creasing as months of darkness and despair succeeded, until 
the snow filled the valleys, and the streams were locked to 
their fountain-head Avith frost; with families isolated, food 
and fuel exhausted, death everywhere, and the wail of the 
few helpless and hopeless survivors borne over the lately 
crowded cities; the marts of commerce and the abodes of 
wealth now voiceless and dark as the tomb. After the 
lapse of a year, suddenly a faint blush is seen in the eastern 
horizon, and rising and spreading, finally brightens into 
day, and every living eye sees once more the risen king 
of day. Then he pictured the scene, the shouts, the rapt- 
urous joy, the praise to God from every heart and lip — to 
the Father of mercies. There was no outburst at tlie close, 
but a subdued and deeply impressive sensation of gratitude 
which tended to make the sacrifice of self and the perform- 
ance of unpleasant duties more endurable ever since. A 
Jinn belief in God's goodness, in his works and ways, has 



186 LIFE OF EGBERT PAINEj D.D. 

been and is a source of the strongest, purest, and sweetest 
comforts of my life. That short sermon served to give spe- 
cial definiteness and force to this truth. This singularly 
good and great man died prematurely, leaving a large and 
helpless family* He resided somewhere near the college. 
We were glad to give his children what educational advan- 
tages we could. I know nothing of them of late years. I 
am not writing compliments — I despise shams and preten- 
sions—but James AV. Fariss, with a few others, will ever 
stand in the picture-gallery of my memory like a column 
of crystal." 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 187 



CHAPTER XXX. 

"Notes of Life" Continued — Marbiage of Ministers — Ad- 
ministration OF Discipline— Popular Amusements — Finan- 
cial Straits. 

MANY men have been seriously hindered, and some have 
been ruined, by indiscreet marriages in the early years 
of their ministry. There is much of wisdom and wholesome 
instruction in these words: 

" In the course of many years I have known several in- 
stances where it looked as if it would have been better for 
both if they had never been born. For instance. No. 1 

was a promising young man — admitted on trial in -^ 

Conference; was of a poor but honest family; education 
little; form and personal appearance faultless; fluent; 
memory remarkable ; stock in trade, a few flashy sermons 
thoroughly memorized and some scrap-book poetry, a lit- 
tle theology ; voice and address agreeable ; amiable and re- 
ligious. Traveled a backwoods circuit his first year, where 
he met the daughter of a large land-owner lately from a 
distant boarding-school. She was young, full of fancy and 
romance, and was struck by his superiority to the rustics 
about there. Her father, devoted to his large business af- 
fairs, nominally a Methodist, practically a thorough world- 
ling; her mother an invalid; neither had paid much over- 
sight to her training, intellectual or moral, devolving it all 
upon her instructors in distant fiishionable boarding-schools. 
She was rich; her bills, however extravagant, were paid 
without a murmur ; and as she could have her own way or 
go elsewhere, and the obsequious teacher could not afford to 



188 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

lose such a prize, her education was utterly a sham. Leav- 
ing school in a whim, she found her father had removed 
from the old Jiomestead to the distant West, and was living 
in temporary log-cabins in the midst of his large land es- 
tate. Here the young preacher found her, and impressed 
her as a handsome young man. The attraction was mutual. 
Before the year closed it was agreed to end the romance 
by getting married without the knowledge of her parents. 
It was done, and the proud father was startled in the midst 
of his cares by the ncAvs of their marriage, and the bedrid- 
den mother learned that her young and heedless daughter 
had eloped with the young preacher. The father, an ex- 
member of Congress — when to be one was an honor — 
though greatly surprised and mortified, because he knew 
what a mistake they had made, sent for them, gave them 
a home and some land not far away; and without re- 
proaching the young husband told him to go to Avork or 
otherwise as he pleased: they had consulted no one, and 
assumed their ability to manage for themselves; he hoped 
they would succeed. The poetry of the affair soon wore off. 
Of course he was 'discontinued' as a preacher — his pros- 
i:)ective usefulness ruined, too late he realized his loss of tlie 
respect of his old friends, and his unfitness for association 
with the flimily into which he had intruded, and luid dragged 
down the young girl to a position of mortified pride. He 
ceased to study — no one cared to hear him repeat his few 
memorized sermons; he knew little else, and he faded away 
like a dissolving scene, and its shadoAV rested upon all con- 
cerned, and charity drops a veil over the end. 

" No. 2 was a very different young preacher ; was of a 
wealthy, highly reputable family; his education much 
above ordinary; his preaching abilities fine; was favored 
in his appointments, popular, and promising great useful- 
ness. Unfortunately, had from the first a special fondness 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 189 

fi)r the company of young ladies — would seek it; ride \vith 
them to his appointments; ^vait on tliem, and laugh and 
joke ^vith them to the church-door, and made himself a 
beau of a preacher. Soon got entangled in love meshes — 
friends got him out; but ^vas soon again involved. In a 
year or two was married to a town belle ; received fi'om her 
father a valuable legacy in a farm. She ridiculed the itin- 
erancy ; a country life too dull ; sold the farm, bought in 
town, and Avith inexperienced partners began merchandis- 
ing ; located to get out of debt. Located, got deeper in. Be- 
came a bankrupt; and after years of trouble and sorrow 
was readmitted, and resumed his former work. Old, poor, 
and cast down, he tried to do his duty, but his life had been 
wasted, and his mind dwarfed. If he had studied and waited 
a few years, and then married a truly j^ious lady of good com- 
mon sense, who would have helped him in his holy calling, 
he might have become eminently useful. But he had made 
a mistake. 

"No. 3 was the son of a plain old Methodist who, by 
hard work and strict economy upon a farm, had secured 
the means of giving his only boy a pretty fair education ; 
had been admitted on trial, and placed upon a good cir- 
cuit; was well received, and gave promise of making a use- 
ful man ; but a love craze came upon him too soon, and he 
married an immature and worldly-minded girl in his sec- 
ond year's ministry. The Bishop found it a little difficult 
to give him work as a married man, and fewer doors Avere 
opened to welcome him. They could bear Avith him, and 
support him as a single nian, but not with a wife. AVhile 
alone, he could come and go at his pleasure into any house 
of his members, and required but little attention; it was a 
different thing Avhen he brought a lady into the family. 
Some good sisters would rather accommodate two \\\q\\ 
than one Avoman. Thev fear the criticisms of their oAvn 



190 LIFE OF ROBERT RAINE, D.D. 

sex, and look upon a strange lady as a detective in tlie 
family. And if the poor innocent should be betrayed into 
retailing the gossip she has heard where she lately visited, 
she soon seals her own fate and her husband's too. Let the 
young minister resolve that he will honorably graduate to 
the eldership, and clearly understand 'the course of study' 
prescribed by the Church for all candidates therefor, before 
he will presume to look a sensible lady in the face and ask for 
her hand and heart for life. This is the shortest time. Seven 
years of study and labor was the term of single blessedness 
recommended by our fathers, and even then ' to hasten sloidy ' 
was a wise motto. Of course no universal rule can be laid 
down, but exceptions should be few. It is unfortunate to 
rush into the ministry, and equally so to rush into matri- 
mony. Ministerial dwarfishness and location, with all the 
attendant evils to the Church and to themselves, follow. 
Excej^tional cases do occur where a preacher, even in his 
early ministry, finds a lady who will stimulate and aid him 
in his studies, sympathize with his efforts to be consecrated 
and useful, and by her prudence and piety raise him to a 
higher plane. Such a wife is a prize above rubies. But 
'pearls of great value' are sometimes counterfeited. 

"Among other sad cases of matrimonial mistakes was that 
of a good brother who married an excellent widow, who, al- 
though his senior, would have made him happy ; but her chil- 
dren, without cause, were bitterly opposed to him, resulting 
in a great family disturbance, and in the violent death of 
the noble-hearted but unfortunate preacher. Few ministers, 
like Wesley, have risen above the influence of marrying 
badly. A good wife 'is of the Lord' — and their name is 
' leffion ' — but a bad one is a great calamity, not to say a 
curse. Paul had the right to lead about a wife like Peter 
— but all things lav.ful are not at all times expedient." 

The administration of discipline is essential to the exist- 



BISIIOr OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 191 



ence of the Church, but very much depends upon the spirit 
iu Avhich the hnvs are enforced. The course pursued by the 
young preacher Avho after^vard became the senior Bishop of 
the Church, and the highest expounder of ecclesiastical law, 
possesses much interest. Feeble hands may do much to in- 
jure the cause of Christ; a vindictive spirit will do more. 
Robert Paine found the middle way the path of safety : 

" The Flint River Circuit, to which I was appointed iu 
1818, was a large one. All our circuits then were large. 
I was alone. It extended south to Huntsville, Alabama, 
and north to Winchester, Tennessee, with the intervening 
and surrounding country. It lay in a fertile and beautiful 
region, and was rapidly filling up with a Avealthy and in- 
telligent population. It was bounded on the east by a 
lofty, unbroken range of mountains dividing the waters of 
Tennessee and Elk rivers, and constituting one of the most 
picturesque and productive valleys in the Western World. 
It was a charming country, and was occupied by a worthy 
people. Its contiguity to my father's gave me the pleasure 
of visiting home more frequently. The principal drawback 
was that, being in pastoral charge, the exercise of the dis- 
cipline upon its violators novr devolved upon me. Several 
instances soon occurred — the first at F.'s camp-ground. 

"After preaching, and dismissing the audience, I proceed- 
ed to ask for the class-leader and the class-paper, to hold 
class-meeting, with closed doors, as iisual. The leader sug- 
gested that a certain brother present had been intoxicated, 
and a trial was needed. The membership was the largest 
in the circuit; all were present. A profound silence en- 
sued, while every head was bowed in grief and sympatliy. 
The accused was under middle age, an industrious and suc- 
cessful young planter, who owned a good little form, and 
was popular and respected. His wife, with two small chil- 
dren, was there. She was a cheerful, tidy, loving wife, and 



192 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

an earnest Christian. The sun rarely shone on a happier 
household. Their parents, on both sides, and nearly all 
their kin, were present; for the family were Methodists, and 
were the bone and sinew of the county as citizens and 
Christians. The erring brother responded to the call of 
his name, pleaded guilty to the charge, and in subdued 
tones submitted his case. I read the law — drunkenness is 
' a crime expressly forbidden.' I was in trouble — all were 
troubled. Must he be expelled? He was a young convert, 
and exj^ulsion and degradation likely involved ruin. I be- 
gan by asking him : ' Why, my brother, have you brought 
yourself and us into this fix? Have you any explanation 
to give for your conduct? AVhen, where, how did it hap- 
pen?' Then the class-paper trembled in my hand as his 
wife's head sunk down as if she was crushed, and I broke 
down. Then he raised his head a little, and while great 
scalding tears were coursing down his honest, candid face, 
he said slowly, in tones interrupted by emotions too strong 
to be wholly exj^ressed bywords: 'I didn't intend it, broth- 
er. It wasn't in a doggery; my merchant said I needed 
something ; it was so cold — brought it — now suppose it was 
raw whisky or brandy. I never thought it would turn my 
head so. Never was drunk before. Can't help it now ; it's 
over, and I am ruined.'' Here he broke down, and his poor 
Avife brought a low, long wail, like a despairing dirge. We 
all broke down. ' No, no, brother,' I said ; ' can't you quitf^ 
^Quitr he replied. 'I have quit. Suppose you must turn 
me out ; suppose you ought to. I deserve it ; but do as you 
may, I will never taste the thing again ; never, so help me 
God!' And then the wife shouted, and the elder child 
climbed into his father's lap, and the youngest nestled 
fondly on its mother's bosom. The old members shook 
hands and blessed God, and the young pastor thought he 
saw day breaking. In conclusion, I projDoscd that if he 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHUPwCn, SOUTH. 193 

^vas truly penitcjit, and \vould then and there join me in a 
solemn pledge never to use intoxicating liquors again, un- 
less as medicine, we would forgive him, and say nothing 
more about a trial. He did this at once; the members 
agreed to it, and this was the first temperance society 
I formed. I often heard of him afterward, and learned 
he had kept his vow, as I have tried to keep mine since 
1818. Methodism meant tcmj^erance then. The class-leader 
prayed, all left happy, and at a camp-meeting held there 
that summer more than one hundred and twenty professed 
religion and joined the Church. That trial did good. 

" But scarcely had I ceased to thank God, and congratu- 
late myself on the happy ending of this affair, before it was 
whispered in my ear by a trusty and tried class-leader, the 
recording steward residing in a distant section of my work 
— old Brother S. — that a similar but far ?nore serious case 
had occurred in his class. The greater importance of this 
affair arose from the fact that the accused was the l)est ed- 
ucated, most respected, and most generally known of any 
other local minister in the community. He was a native of 
Scotland — was thoroughly educated in Edinburgh for the 
ministry of the National Church, and came to the United 
States at the call of his brethren to fill an important posi- 
tion. He landed in Virginia, I believe, where he entered 
upon the duties of his vocation. His qualifications for the 
position soon became evident, and his success was assured. 
New scenes and associations were, after a short period, fol- 
lowed by his marriage to an excellent lady, a Methodist, 
and a member of an intelligent and highly respected family. 
Thus thrown into immediate contact with a large and de- 
voted body of Christians and ministers holding Arminian 
sentiments, he awoke to the fiict that he was obliged to ex- 
amine a creed which, by the number and character of its 
adherents, confronted and antagonized his own. Quietly, 
13 



194 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

prayerfully, and unkno^vn to others, the process began. It 
p»rescntly became a serious matter. He began it, not doubt- 
ing it would end in confirming his long-cherished Calvinist- 
ic opinions, and furnish him additional arguments against 
Wesleyan theology. What was his surprise, as he cautious- 
ly and slowly proceeded, to find himself surrendering and 
receding, step after step, from points he had regarded as 
impregnable, until to his amazement his conscience com- 
pelled him to abandon the strongholds of unconditional 
election and accept the system of provisional universal 
salvation. There was no public controversy going on be- 
tween the opposing advocates of the two creeds, but 
in the solitude of his library he critically, as a schol- 
ar, marked, weighed, and inwardly digested the subject, 
determined to follow his matured and conscientious con- 
victions wherever they might lead. The result of this 
mental struggle was his conversion to Methodist doctrines. 
Arminius, Episcopius, Wesley, and Fletcher, in their ex- 
planation of the word of God, triumphed over Augustine, 
Knox, and Calvin, and his mind was disenthralled and 
emancipated from the ^Horrible Decree' It followed, as a 
matter of course, that as his investigation had been honest 
his action was prompt. He candidly reported his change, 
was ^relieved' without censure, received and recognized as 
a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and enjoyed 
the confidence and esteem of both Churches and of the 
whole community. In after years his Virginia friends in- 
duced him to remove with them to the West, and open 
a first-class academy, where I found him in 1818, within 
the bounds of my work. He had become a patriarch in 
piety, age, and bearing. His school and that conducted 
by Eev. Thomas B. Craighead, near Nashville, Tennessee, 
one hundred and twenty miles apart, were regarded as the 
best classical academies in all their respective regions. In 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 195 



many respects they were alike — both Avcre then far ad- 
vanced in life, had educated a large number of the most 
prominent members of the community ; both had found it 
necessary to revise their creeds, and eliminate therefrom 
the ultra Calvinistic features of the Westminster Confes- 
sion. The former had found a congenial haven in ^Meth- 
odism, while the latter, I believe, did not change his Church 
relation. They Avere alike respected for their piety, learn- 
ing, and usefulness. 

"Such was the venerable man who was reported by liis 
class-leader and life-long friend as having been intoxicated ; 
and who desired to see me and the leader about it. We 
went immediately, and found him in bed; silence and sor- 
row prevailed in the house. His aged and devoted wife 
and their children kept their rooms — they were grief- 
stricken and stunned; they could not talk about it; could 
see no one. Our visit unlocked the fountain, and for awhile 
his tears poured forth as from an overflowing heart. AYe, 
too, sat with bowed heads, and could not talk, while we 
cried as if over a dying father. At last he abruptly 
broke the silence, in substance saying to me : * I have dis- 
graced the Church — have been intoxicated — you must try 
and expel me. Nothing short of this will do.' The facts 
turned out to be these: He was invited to celebrate the 
rites of matrimony betAveen a couple who were the children 
of two of his friends. When the time arrived the weather 
had become intensely cold, the roads frozen, and the dis- 
tance was greater than he had supposed. Withal, he was 
an inexperienced horseback-rider ; was old, feeble, and not 
acquainted with the road. Of course he lost his way, was 
belated, and after hiring a negro to guide him, arrived at 
the place several hotrrs behind time. When he got there 
he was so stiff and cold that he had to be taken down and 
carried into the house. To restore him thev o:ave him 



196 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

something, assuring him it would revive him without hurt- 
ing him. He took it, sat near the fire awhile, and found 
his head in a whirl. ' Why, every thing is turning round ! 
am I drunk?' he exclaimed. The company assembled was 
a large, wealthy, and aristocratic one, many of whom he 
had educated, and all revered him ; they knew his Scotch 
integrity and Christian purity of life, and while he Avept in 
repeating, 'I must be drunk,' etc., they replied: 'No, it is 
vertigo — the cold and fatigue followed by a hot fire.' But 
this did not soothe his feelings. He, however, performed 
the ceremony, and after a night's rest went home. Now 
he demanded of me, as his pastor, a trial and full j^unish- 
ment. He had dismissed his school in his paroxysm of 
mortified grief, had proclaimed his fall, and now the 
Church must vindicate her rules by his arrest, trial, and 
expulsion. It was useless to talk to him. So I called a 
committee, and he was suspended for three months. He 
protested against the leniency of the sentence, and sent me 
his certificates of ordination, but finally submitted. The 
time expired ; it was on my preaching-day there. I asked 
him to take my place. The whole region attended, and 
such a sermon and such a time as we all had are rarely 
witnessed. He fell to rise higher in public esteem, and has 
long since gone where misfortunes and temptations, like sin 
and sorrow, are forever unknown." 

On the subject of popular amusements Bishop Paine has 
left a clear testimony. Conservative in thought, he has 
given no cause for complaint of extreme views. As a calm, 
wise, and deeply interested observer of men and things, his 
views are of great value : 

"In going from McGee's to Huntsville, in the year 1819, 
on my circuit work, and just as I came opposite the Green 
Bottom Inn, I heard a great shout, and looking to my left 
saw an immense throng of highly excited people, and at a 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 197 

glance perceived horses dash off in the direction I was trav- 
eling. It flashed upon me that it was the celebrated race- 
track where the sportsmen of Kentucky, Tennessee, and 
North Alabama annually tested the speed and pluck of their 
high -blooded horses. The hill, houses, and stages were 
crowded, and such cheering and prolonged huzzas had rarely 
been heard. In a moment the words 'Mine eyes shall not 
look on vanity' occurred to me; and although the swift 
coursers in making the circle ran so near me that I could 
hear the clatter of their feet and the breathing of the pant- 
ing and struggling fliers, I kept steadily on my way without 
pausing or stealing a glance at them. 

" Is it asked what harm it would have been if I had done 
other^\ise? Would it have been sinful? Is racing a sin? 
I do not say that running, or simple racing, is a sin, or that 
looking at a race is of itself such, especially if it be acci- 
dental; but I do unequivocally say that the race-course is 
the theater where one of the Avorst kinds of gambling is 
practiced, and that all abettors of it are practically contrib- 
uting to debauch public sentiment. Bets are often made on 
trials of speed a year or more in advance ; the mind, heart, 
and body are preoccupied and engrossed. I have known 
sportsmen, while with heavy bets pending and horses in 
training for the coming contest, to become religiously im- 
pressed ; but few of them have yielded. The very fact that 
they had committed themselves to a race for a large sum 
utterly discouraged all serious efl()rts. The excitement con- 
tinues so long, the associations and fascinations are so dan- 
gerous, and the temptations to other and kindred vices so 
strong, that the life of the sportsman is like walking by 
moonlight over a bridge full of holes — where one crosses 
safely a hundred fall through. Grant something may be 
true which is claimed fn- it, as to improving certain qual- 
ities of the horse, the employment it gives to labor, the 



198 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

people it brings to the hotel and public carrier interests, and 
the recreation it affords to the masses ^Yho attend, backed 
and countenanced by legislators, judges, the queens of beauty, 
fashion, and wealth, from the empress to the canaille — still, 
candor comj^jcls the verdict that the evil infinitely tran- 
scends the benefit. • The benefit is largely imaginary, the 
evil real and far-reaching. The gambling like the drink- 
ing proclivity is a morally unhealthy one, needing restraint 
the more because it originates in a perverted and depraved 
appetite. Whether we regard the kings of the turf, the in- 
fluence they naturally exercise over their own families, es- 
pecially their sons and sons-in-law, over their associates, re- 
tainers, trainers, stable-boys, and the long retinue of flatter- 
ers, loafers, and worn-out specimens of humanity ; the diver- 
sion it fosters adverse to piety, purity, and intellectual cult- 
ure, leaving out of view the pecuniary investment in it, and 
which cannot be readily turned into other and useful enter- 
prises without heavy loss; all, and more, unite to condemn 
the race-track as exceptionally objectionable — a gigantic 
gamble. Under the most favorable surroundings, it works 
evil. The fictitious importance it confers upon the least 
valuable quality of the horse is overwhelmingly counter- 
balanced by its degrading effects upon the noblest attributes 
of manhood. And this applies alike to aristocratic Epsom 
Derby and the quarter-mile extemporized race at the dilap- 
idated village for a quart of contraband whisky — with the 
exception that the former is worse in proportion to its as- 
sumed greater respectability. Imagine a race-visiting cler- 
gyman preaching on Sunday to an audience he has been 
meeting the entire week previously on the race-track ! Is 
he not beset with the echoes of the shouts, the ribald jests, 
profanity, and drunken craziness of his associates, even when 
in soft tones of mock penitence he distributes to them the 
sacred symbols of the Last Supper, and when renouncing 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CIIUKCII, SOUTH. 190 . 

'the devil and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of 
the world,' and vowing 'not to follow or be led by them V 
j\[ust not the actors in this scene laugh in each other's faces, 
the first time they meet afterward, at the remembrance 
of their sublime impudence? Is this Liberalism — Broad- 
church Christianity? Liberal enough for the Roman soldier 
who gambled for Christ's vesture at the foot of his cross, 
and broad enough for the rich man who went to hell, 

" But what of dancino; and the theater? Will the Church 
prohibit its members from amusements? Certainly not. 
Eational and innocent amusements may often be needed, 
and are proper. Our Heavenly Father does not stint us. 
He is profuse. All paradise was given Avith one reservation. 
That was a test case. The only thing prohibited was a thing 
not necessary to existence, to true happiness, or the highest 
end of life. Of every thing else they might freely and fully 
partake. The new — the ' good, very good ' — world, with all 
its beauty, sublimity, and stainless purity, lay before them, 
the free gift and pledge of their great Father's love. It 
was theirs to have, to hold, and enjoy. AVith all this was 
the bestowment of attributes adapting them perfectly to ap- 
prehend and enjoy their munificent surroundings. Within 
the vast circumference of these various pursuits and pleas- 
ures all was natural and innocent ; but as every gift carries 
with it obligation, and every law implies and involves duties 
to be enforced by penalty, so, as a recognition of this uni- 
versal principle, a j^rohibition was announced as a test of 
love and fealty, to disregard which is sin. It matters not 
what that duty or test may be, if the Supreme Lawgiver 
authoritatively imposes it as such, it is sin to disregard it. 
The simpler and easier the condition, the less is the excuse 
and greater the sin of its violation. The magnitude of the 
offense is determined by the authority of the law. The in- 
spired oracles denounce 'reveling, banqueting,' 'the lusts of 



200 LIFE OP ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

the flesli and of the eye, and the pride of life ; ' it demands 
bearing the cross, self-denial, humility, and to do 'whatever 
we do to the glory of God.' While neither the Bible nor 
the Church prescribes specifically and by name every duty 
or denounces every error, resolving and comprehending 
many of them in great principles, the distinctions are so 
clear and plainly laid down as to be apparent to the discern- 
ment of the spiritually-minded inquirer. It is not dancing 
for health or recreation, nor dancing in the abstract — if 
there be such — but dancing in the concrete, promiscuous, of 
the sexes in close contact ; the familiar handling, dangling, 
caressing, the indelicate posturing, the personal liberty taken 
and submitted to as naturally understood in the programme 
of the dance-room — all these kept up to the ' wee hours of 
the night ' — it is these, and the like, which go to condemn 
these orgies as injurious to health, and inconsistent with re- 
fined feminine sensibility and the genius of Christianity. 

" It is not assumed that there are not greater evils than 
dancing, or that some who oppose it may not have a ' beam ' 
who find a ' mote ; ' nor is it denied that young and timid 
ladies, who find themselves unex2:)ectcdly in a parlor where 
they must join in a dance, or be the 'wall-flowers' of the 
circle, reluctantly, and from a Avant of moral courage, yield 
to temptation. They are perhaps as much to be pitied as 
blamed for the offense; but if they freely, and from love of 
it, persist against persuasion, remonstrance, and repeated 
pastoral warning, and reasonable waiting for reflection, the 
result seems inevitable — the formal relation dissolved as the 
spiritual has already been. Whoever loves worldly pleas- 
ures more than Christ is no Christian ; and the fashionable 
dance, and the delight in it, as clearly discriminates between 
tlie 'flesh and the spirit' as any thing I know of The 
C!uirch, following the Master, has prohibited it. Every 
Clirislian denomination in the country, through its highest 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 201 

officials, has condemned it ; and if they have failed to con- 
form their judicial acts to their protests, we may regret it, 
l)iit cannot imitate them. As Methodists we may not al- 
ways have been blameless, but I think I can safely say that 
horse-racing, the liquor traffic, theater-going, and dancing — 
all of which belong to the same category — when properly 
dealt with, will dissolve Church-membership when properly 
brought into the Church-court. 

" In tliis exercise of official duty it is especially proper 
that there be no rash, hasty, or injudicious action. While we 
dare not silently see the Church lapse into worldliness with- 
out trying to prevent it, we cannot afford to diminish our 
influence as under-shepherds of a gentle and loving Chief 
Pastor. 

"To all this it may be said the tendency of the time is 
drifting the Church into the w^orld, and it cannot be pre- 
vented. So much greater is the necessity to resist it now, 
before it is too late. What surprises me most is that our 
members need restraint in these things. After my conver- 
sion I had no taste for them. Love and gratitude to my 
Lord cured me for life of the desire for sinful and doubtful 
amusements. A thorough change of heart ought to do this." 

Few Methodist preachers have escaped the knowledge of 
financial embarrassments. The small sums allowed to the 
preachers in the early days were often insufficient to supply 
the necessaries of life. The helping Providence is seen in 
the following narrative of Bishop Paine : 

" My field of labor presented some serious discouragements 
during the first half of the year. I was not only without 
acquaintances, but my circuit was very large, deficient in 
roads and bridges ; accommodations and ordinary comforts 
greatly needed, as usual in new settlements, while I had 
twenty-eight appointments to fill monthly, fi'om fifteen to 
twenty-five miles apart. During the winter of 1819-20 and 



202 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

early spring, I >vas much exposed to the weather, and was 
near bemg drowned on several occasions while swimming 
streams to reach my jDreaching-places. For all this I felt 
amply compensated by the warm-hearted hospitality of the 
people, and by the consciousness of trying to do my duty. 
Yet I now think that in some of these hazardous exposures 
I was mistaken as to duty. Before the year had half ex- 
pired my finances were exhausted, and it flashed upon me 
Avhile crossing a little prairie between Erie and Greensboro, 
skirted by trees draped in long moss, that I was a penniless 
stranger hundreds of miles from home, too proud to beg and 
unable to dig. The fact is, I thought I had left my father's 
with money enough to pay my way for more than a year ; 
but my traveling expenses, clothing, horse-shoeing, and other 
things, had cost a good deal more than in Tennessee, and 
having neglected to write home in time, I had suddenly beou 
startled with the discovery of my bankruptcy. I have a 
distinct recollection of my feelings. I stopped, looked 
through my collapsed pocket-book to find it innocent of con- 
cealing a single cent. What now? Shall I go on, getting 
farther away from home, try to get back to Tuscaloosa, bor- 
row money there to get home on, and then return to my 
circuit ? If so, all my appointments fall, and I have to go 
around to make new ones. Besides, friends and foes will 
say 1 deserted my post; and then I remembered thata1)old, 
bad man, living on the north fork of the Warrior, had sent 
me word that if I preached there again he would certainly 
beat me badly. I confess this threat determined mc. I 
woidd not go away under a threat. I turned away to trust 
Providence for the money and do my work. The stewards 
had neglected their duty, but without begging it I got the 
means from an unexpected source the next day, and staid. 
I am glad I did. The money came in this wise: About 
bunset on the day just alluded to I rode up to a cabin hav- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CIIUKCII, SOUTH. * 203 

iiig only one room, and upon asking the name of tlie owner 
was confronted by a very large lady who gave the name 
where Brother E. Hearn had informed me he had made an 
appointment for me to preach on the next day. I asked the 
lady if there was such an appointment. She did not know — 
had heard the old man say something about it; but he and 
the boys were off on a bear-hunt — might be home some time 
that night, or might not. Told her I received notice, and 
upon his invitation I had come to preach. She looked some- 
what bewildered, and I felt a good deal so. The only house 
I saw was that one ; it was unfinished ; a half dozen children 
crowded the door. The boys and the old man, with those 
present, must fill it. It looked like a downright imposition 
to obtrude ; but what could I do ? Kight was upon me. I 
was a stranger — did not know the roads nor the neighbors, 
if there Avere any. Could she tell where I could go? But 
she was a new-comer — did not know. Still sitting upon my 
tired horse and looking around for a road, she said I was 
welcome to stay if I could make out to do so ; but there was 
no place nor any food for my horse, except a little corn 
which was used for bread after being pounded in a wooden 
mortar by a wooden pestle or beater. How gratefully I. 
accepted the conditions! blistered my shoulders carrying 
heavy rails to make a pound for my horse ; and how long I 
belabored those flinty grains of corn into meal, and how 
soundly I slept, the deponent saith not. Next day a dozen, 
more or less, came out. The old man had got home before 
m.idnight and fixed seats ; and as I began service a tall and 
elegant lady came in, and after preaching had closed, intro- 
duced herself, and invited me in the name of her husband 
to spend the night with them, and that at my next round I 
should preach at their house. My host and his wife con- 
senting, I promised to do so. When leaving there next 
morning to cross the Alabama Biver at Cahaba, a five-dollar 



204 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

gold piece was left in my hand by Mrs. Matthew Garey. 
That was enough ; it would pay my way across the river and 
until my stewards should awake to the fact that they had 
forgotten their duty." 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 205 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

"Notes of Life" Continued — Eemoyal of Indians — Holy 
Living — Sketch of Bishop Bascom — Church Polity. 

THE attitude of the Government toward the Indian tribes 
has employed the pens of many wise and benevolent 
persons, who have deplored the resort to the implements of 
warfare and death as means of controlling and subduing 
the red men. Bishop Paine furnishes us with a plain state- 
ment relating to two of the Indian tribes : 

" The winter of 1540-41 proved to be unusually long and 
severe, and the Spaniards drew heavily upon the Indians for 
supplies — they accused their red friends of having retaliated 
by taking their hogs. De Soto is said to have carried a 
good many hogs with him to meet emergencies, and the In- 
dians had now learned to appreciate this kind of food. A 
large part of this tribe still lived on the East Tennessee and 
AVest Virginia highlands, although they had many villages 
in what has long been known as the ' Chickasaw^ Old Fields.' 
In the spring of 1541 De Soto, wishing to continue his march, 
demanded two hundred able-bodied Indians to assist in car- 
rying his baggage and artillery to the Mississippi River, but 
they refused to obey. A battle followed, both parties suf- 
fered terribly, and the Spaniards were compelled to leave, 
much crippled and discouraged. They are thought to have 
struck the great river at the ' Chickasaw^ Blufls,' near Mem- 
phis. Crossing the Mississippi, they are believed to have 
wandered over the highlands of Arkansas, and seen the Hot 
Springs, but not finding the El Dorado, to have gone down 
to the Mississippi about Helena, where De Soto died. 

"This whole aflTair seems like a romance, but there are 



206 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



many things which prove the main focts upon Avhich the 
story rests. See Pickett's ' History of Ahibama ' and 'J. F. 
H. Claiborne's Mississippi.' Other invasions of this country 
by Spaniards and French at different periods occurred, in 
all of ^yhich these two great tribes maintained their reputa- 
tion as warriors and statesmen, having never been con- 
quered or driven by military force from their early homes. 

" There are two points in this question as to the treatment 
of the Indians by the United States Government upon which 
I wish to make remarks l)efore I close it. Of the general 
subject I say nothing, because I know but little, but con- 
fine myself to these two tril)es. I knew a good deal about 
them before they went west of the Mississippi, and have vis- 
ited them repeatedly since — staid with them for weeks at a 
time, held conferences with them, preached to them, and talked 
freely with them. They left Mississippi and Alabama reluc- 
tantly ; with many it was a great and sore trial ; but their 
'heads' and 'chiefs' saw it must be, or they were to be wor- 
ried almost to death and at last compelled to go. Think- 
ing they might get a reliable guaranty by an exchange, in 
which they would j9«^ for their new home, and get clear of 
being further disturbed, they finally consented to remove. 
I believe the agreement was to allot to each Indian a cer- 
tain amount of land wherever he might claim it. It was 
all to be surveyed, and publicly sold to the highest bidder, 
and the Indian to receive the whole amount. After every 
claim had been thus settled, the remainder of land w'as given 
to the United States, In consideration for this the Indians 
were to be transported at the expense and under the pro- 
tection of the United States — were to have a guaranty title 
to a much larger quantity of land west of the Mississippi 
Kiver and a considerable annuity. The land here general- 
ly sold for its fair value. I know it did in the Chickasaw 
Nation, as I have lived upon it over thirty years, and doubt 



BTSIIOP OF THE M. E, CHURCH, SOUTH. 207 



if to-day it could be sold for more than was then paid 
for it. 

"Speculators and pretended friends doubtless cheated 
individual Indians, but I do not believe the Government 
did. Upon the whole, I think the removal of the Chick- 
asaws, Creeks, Cherokees, Choctaws, Delawares, Wyan- 
dots, and Shawnees, and the other tribes that settled down 
quietly to agricultural life, has so far been a blessing to 
them. It is my decided conviction that too large a terri- 
tory is not fiivorable to their best interests. Enough for 
cultivation and stock-ranging, and room for natural in- 
crease, and for those who cannot be expected to suddenly 
suppress their hunting proclivity, must be yielded to them. 

" Gradually, as the wild game disappears, and they ad- 
vance in civilization and piety, they cultivate the soil and 
cease to roam and hunt. Most or all of the tribes enumerat- 
ed have realized this fact, and are acting conformably. But 
let the Government keep faith with them — drive off intrud- 
ers, protect them from liquor-sellers, qualify them for citizen- 
ship, and maintain them in all their rights. 

"Of course no people will work for a living if others 
will feed them. They must have help, but must help 
themselves too. Help which comes without need and co- 
operation is a premium for idleness and vagabondism. If 
those tribes which have more land than they find necessary 
will contract their limits, and not factiously oppose the open- 
ing of railroads where the interests of society require them, 
and the Government will sternly protect them, then may we 
confidently look for their elevation. The preacher and the 
teacher will then have a fair field." 

As the shadows were falling at the serene sunset of life, 
Bishop Paine reviews the past, and recalls the experiences 
of his early days concerning the subject of holiness: 

"Cicero and others have moralized beautifully on the 



208 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

subject of old age — the serene retrospect of a virtuous and 
useful life ; but to the Christian whose standard is the ^vord 
of God, and whose conscience demands a high degree of 
purity of purpose, and a consecration of life to the noblest 
capabilities of his being, there is little ground for self-com- 
mendation. However conscious he may feel of having in- 
tended to do right, he cannot but be aware of having often 
failed in his manner of doing it. The holiest are the hum- 
blest and most grateful. It is natural for the aged to dwell 
upon the past, and it is fit for them to be thankful for the 
grace and the fostering providence which have guided and 
preserved them; but 'pride was not made for man,' and we 
need daily prayer for 'preventing grace' and pardon. 

" In looking back over my life's work, no year has left its 
mark upon my memory more indelibly than this. I was in 
a mission-field, a stranger far from home ; the country was 
ncw^, comforts few, rides long, and my labors taxed all my 
time and energies. The formation of the ' Missionary As- 
sociation,' my trip to the Indian Territory, my illness among 
them, and especially the intimate friendships formed with 
John Horsey and other intelligent and truly devoted Chris- 
tians, very deeply impressed me. Religiously it was a period 
of very great importance to me. The subject of holiness 
engrossed my mind and heart. I read, thought, and prayed 
about it. Two days in the week I fasted and prayed espe- 
cially for the blessing of perfect love. Often I spent hours 
at a time alone in"the forest invoking the blessing of a ' clean 
heart.' During many hours of lonesome travel through 
primeval forests it occupied my thoughts. I never doubted 
that I had been converted October 9, 1817. Others had 
gone on to a higher state and had attained it. Why not I? 
I denied myself many things I had always heretofore thought 
innocent. I keenly introspected my feelings and motives. 
If I were to particularize, my readers would likely think 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 20P 

my conscience was morbidly sensitive. My long rides and 
constant labors and abstinence enfeebled me so that I could 
not ride ten miles without getting off' and resting by the 
road-side. I became very thin — my knees got as hard as a 
wood-chopper's hand, and my throat or lungs commenced 
bleeding daily. Still I went on, preaching almost every 
day and frequently at night, looking for the blessing of 
'sanctification.' I remember distinctly while preaching on 
'the pure in heart,' at Hardwick's, near Savannah, to have 
felt such a sense of God's comforting presence that I was 
constrained to avow that I then realized the blessing of per- 
fect love. Nor was it a transient or solitary emotion. Yet 
I hesitated and feared to profess it. I needed some one to 
teach and guide me. So things continued until I left for 
another field. The year's experience deeply impressed my 
religious history. 

" Of late I have been often asked my opinion as to cer- 
tain articles which have been published as to regeneration, 
sanctification, holiness, Christian perfection, etc., esiDCcially 
as to whether regeneration and sanctification are distinct 
and separate operations, each having its distinct evidence; 
or are they one, differing only in measure or degree? wheth- 
er in either or any case it is proper to expect and pray for 
a wholly sanctified heart and the witness of the Holy Spirit; 
of its attainment noiu; or is it a state of grace which is 
gradual, and culminates only at the close of probation? To 
these and similar inquiries, and speaking for myself alone, 
my answer is, I am not inclined to take as my creed on this 
or any other scriptural dogma the language, by wholesale 
of any uninspired creed-maker without explanation. I am 
a Methodist, and believe in the doctrines and polity of my 
Church, as I understand them to be embodied directly or 
by fair inference in the Scriptures; and my views on this 
subject may be thus briefly stated; 
14 



210 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

"Regeneration changes our spiritual nature as justifica- 
tion does our personal relation to God. As faith is the con- 
dition precedent to these, so this faith, leading to filial obe- 
dience, carries forward the work of grace to more full out- 
pourings of the Holy Spirit, and, Avhen persistently sought, 
to clbser communion with God, to which he gives the ivitness 
of his work. It is the same agent, the same work, to be re- 
tained and grow while life lasts. Every truly regenerated 
person is 'set apart' to the service of God — 'sanctified.' 
He enters upon * the highway of holiness,' and if he contin- 
ues holy and faithful he will most assuredly attain to ' the 
mark for the prize.' Along this thoroughfare are stages, or 
degree stations, which mark his progress; and who can deny 
that 'a clean heart, a right spirit,' 'love that casteth out 
fear,' and the sanctity which Christ prayed that his disciples 
might attain, may not be realized here, accompanied by the 
witnessing Spirit? May we not expect to realize what God 
promises to bestow? And why withhold his seal in verify- 
ing his own work? 

"It is, then, possible to be sanctified here, to love God 
supremely, and yet to lal)or under physical infirmities and 
the misfortune of a perverted nature. They are inevitable 
sequences of the fall, and I cannot associate guilt Avith the 
inevitable. 1 have never forgotten a question proposed to 
me by an old preacher of another Church shortly after my 
conversion : ' Did you repent of Adam's sin? ' It was a new 
thought to me, and I replied : ' I never thought of Adam's 
sin, my own troubled me so much.' He thought I had not 
gone far enough back. I Avas troubled with the effect.'^, but 
not penitent for the guilt, of original sin. Guilt without per- 
sonal agency is a myth, especially in view^ of the vicarious 
'oblation that taketh away the sins of the world.'" 

The extraordinary effect produced by the preaching of 
Dr. Bascom has been noticed in a preceding extract from 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 211 

the " Notes of Life." In the following, Bishop Paine pre- 
sents a more extended picture of this great preacher: 

" The life of Henry Bidleman Basconi abounded with in- 
structive incidents, many of which are too well known to 
call for repetition. It may not, however, -be amiss to em- 
phasize a few of them. Born May 27, 1796, in New Jer- 
sey, he embraced religion August 18, 1810; was received 
bv Lorino; Grant into the Methodist Church the next 
spring; emigrated to Kentucky with his father's family in 
1812, and shortly afterward settled in Ohio, a few miles 
north of Maysville, Kentucky, in a poor and lonely region 
of hills and gulches. His father seems to have been mar- 
ried twice, and had a large family — Henry being his first- 
born, and I believe the only child of his first wife. His 
father, always poor, became prematurely infirm, and with 
the burden of a heavy family could not dispense with the 
labor of his son. After that son had culminated as 'a 
bright particular star,' as a writer and orator in the galaxy 
of great names destined 'never to fade nor fly,' while stand- 
ing with an old resident of the city of ^Maysville, Kentucky, 
overlooking the busy wharf, the river, and opposite the cliffs 
upon whose side stood the humble log-cabin whence young 
Bascom in his fourteenth year went forth to struggle for a 
living for himself and his dependent father and his half 
sisters and brothers, my friend said to me : ' Here, right be- 
fore you, is the place where our great and loved Dr. Bas- 
com began his life's battle. In that little field on the river 
I have seen him often cutting grain without coat or vest. 
At this wharf, as a drayman, I have watched him receive 
and hauling away the freight from boats, when the usual 
pay for a day's labor was fifty cents. Saturday evening 
would find him climbing up the brow of that steep and rug- 
ged mountain, bearing provisions and a few simple delica- 
'cies, obtained by the daily labor of his own hands, for the 



212 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

support of his bedridden father and helpless family.' In- 
deed, his unfaltering love, and tender, never-ceasing care 
and kindness to his kindred, through many years, Avas 
known by all his early neighbors. Even after he had won 
his professorship in Augusta College, and stood with Ruter, 
Durbin, and Tonilinsou, he would devote all his net earn- 
ings to the physical and intellectual benefit of his father's fam- 
ily. And when the old people became so ill as to require 
constant and skillful nursing, he spent his college vacation 
at home, taking what repose was possible in sleeping upon 
the rough puncheon-floor of the cabin, with only a blanket 
under him, ready to rise and minister to the sufferer at the 
first sign. His Maker endowed him with an intellect of 
the highest compass, a robust will, and the strongest sym- 
pathies. All these qualities are necessary to make the 
highest order of manhood. All this and more Avas Dr. Bas- 
com. I need not allude to his extraordinary eloquence, by 
which he swayed listening thousands into rapture or terror 
as his theme changed ; nor to his clear and masterly writing 
— as, for example, his protest against the action of the ma- 
jority in the General Conference of 1844. 

"The course adopted in publishing Bishop Bascom's ser- 
mons has been regretted by many of his best friends. They 
were by himself called 'Sermons for the PuljnV — not for 
the press — and an attempt was made by some of his fi'iends 
to place them and other productions of his pen in the hands 
of the now deceased Bishop Wightman, who it is understood 
would revise them, and supervise their publication. Un- 
fortunately other counsels prevailed. The preaching style 
of the Bishop before vast and promiscuous assemblies, owing 
to his rich imagination and his rare command of words, was 
often very rapid and highly ornate, while his written style 
was more simple and lucid. He was aware of this, and 
hence the discrimination he made between pulpit and press. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 213 

" This critique, however, must not be regarded as depre- 
ciating his published sermons as to their true merits, for 
taking them as they are issued, they display a high order 
of mind. 

"Although he justly stood preeminent in the estimation of 
^Ir. Henry Clay, and others who had a national reputation 
for learning and eloquence, yet, as his biographers say, there 
Avere a number of his early associates among the preachers 
by whom he was not appreciated. His dress and personal 
appearance did not suit their taste, hence the withholding 
of his reception and ordination for two years. 

" The election of Dr. Bascom to the episcopacy was a sur- 
prise to himself more than to the Church. It took place at 
the session of the General Conference in St. Louis, in 1850. 
The session was a short one, owing to the appearance of 
cholera in the city as an epidemic. There was a panic 
among its citizens, many fleeing into the country, some of 
them having agreed to entertain delegates, who were thus 
suddenly left without homes for awhile. The death of a 
delegate from Georgia — Boring — increased the excitement, 
and the Conference determined to elect a Bishop and close 
the session as soon as its necessary Avork could be transact- 
ed. When the election came off. Bishops Soule and An- 
drew were sick — the former confined to his bed and very 
feeble. Neither of them was present. Bishop Capers and 
the writer presided to the close of the Conference. In leav- 
ing the room shortly after the result of the ballot had been 
announced, and the adjournment of the day's Avork, Dr. 
Bascom Avas seen in the rear part of the house sitting alone 
Avith his head bowed, and upon approaching him he Avas 
found Aveeping and almost convulsed Avith emotion. He 
protested that he did not Avant and could not accept the of- 
fice — that he Avas unsuited to it, had never acted as presiding 
elder or actual chairman. His habits of life, his taste, and 



214 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



his purposes were, and had always been, otherwise. Final- 
ly, he agreed that if upon my consulting the Bishops they 
should unanimously agree and desire his ordination, which 
he doubted, he might consent to it ; but certainly not with- 
out this. At night the Bishops met for consultation. Bish- 
op Soule ^vas in bed, and very ill. Bishop Andrew was re- 
clining on a sofa when Bishop Capers and I entered, and 
presently laid before them the state of Dr. Bascom's feel- 
ings. Capers and myself Avere decided in our opinion that 
he ought to submit to ordination. As usual, the younger 
Bishops being first called upon for their opinions, ive did 
not hesitate. Our senior, more deliberate, finally agreed 
that they could not advise the Bishop elect to decline. It 
is a principle among us not to interfere in the election of 
our colleagues. AYe never vote anywhere outside of our 
private meetings as a college for review and advice. Upon 
such occasions the Bishop who would shrink from meeting a 
question frankly and promj^tly, or who would suffer an hon- 
est and independent difference of opinion to disturb the har- 
mony and kind feelings of the body, would be justly es- 
teemed as unfit for his high position. No such case has 
occurred among us for the last thirty-six years. I confess 
that there was an apparent reluctance in our senior Bishops 
in advising Dr. Bascom to conform to the wish of the Con- 
ference; but I may have been mistaken, or they might have 
been of his opinion, that he was better adapted for and more 
needed in other work, while others could fill the office with 
equal benefit to the Church at large. From whatever rea- 
son, if any, they seemed to hesitate, they agreed to appoint 
the time and place of his consecration. Dr. Bascom was 
appointed to preach, as it turned out to be, his own ordina- 
tion discourse, which he did upon the text, * God forbid that I 
should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Clirist' — 
one of the finest eflforts of his life. Among other objections 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 2l5 

he had made to his acceptance of the office, he said, with 
strong emotion, ^It will kill me ' — prophetic words. Immedi- 
ately after the General Conference he presided at the Missou- 
ri Conference, thence went into the Indian Territory, then 
hack to St. Louis, and finding his health seriously impaired 
by constant travel, care, and preaching through the hot 
summer months, he started home ; but reaching Louisville, 
he was utterly stricken down, and died at Edward Steven- 
son's, in the fifty-third year of his age. Thus fell in the 
prime of his life, and the rich and ripened powers of a mind 
of rare strength and extraordinary compass, a great and 
mighty prince in our Israel. 

"Am I asked how the poor, obscure boy, who 'never went 
to school after he was twelve years old,' attained a national 
reputation as an orator, a writer, and for usefulness as a 
minister of the gospel? I answer, by study and perseverance. 
There is before me one of the standard books in the course 
of study in his department of the senior class, which he 
used while president of a college, which evinces his patient 
and profound examination of its contents. It is full of notes 
and exhaustive criticisms. He not only read but digested 
and assorted the author's thoughts. Yet he was timid to a 
fault in extemporizing, and could not be drawn into discus- 
sion upon the Conference-floor. I have seen him put to 
confusion and silenced by an attack unexpectedly made 
upon him. Early in his ministry Bascom contracted the 
hal^it of memorizing his sermons and his lectures. His 
celebrated addresses while he traveled as agent for the Af- 
rican Colonization Society, and his pulpit efforts which so 
moved listening thousands, were thus delivered. But as 
his years advanced, memory losing its power of retention, 
and the failing of the eye rendering reading from the man- 
uscript absolutely necessary, the pathos of his former years 
decreased, while his intellectual vigor was undiminished. 



216 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

Such must be the result whenever this practice is pursued. 
We freely admit that his style was too florid to suit the taste 
of critics; but take him as he was, and as by divine grace 
he made himself, he was one of the most brilliant examples 
of a great and noble self-made man recorded in the history 
of the American Church." 

No man was more thoroughly versed in the history and 
constitution of the Church than Bishop Paine. The last 
extract we present from the "Xotes of Life" is upon our 
"Church Polity:" 

"It has been already stated that the General Conference 
held in May, 1820, was marked by several highly impor- 
tant incidents. Among these was the rule making presid- 
ing elders elective, and giving them, by law, authority as a 
council with the Bishop to station the preachers. This was 
followed by the election of Joshua Soule to the episcopacy, 
his refusing to accept the office under this law, the solemn 
protest of the senior Bishoji — McKendrec — against it, and 
the suspension of this rule until the next session of the Gen- 
eral Conference. 

" The retirement of Bishop McKendree, at his o\Yn sugges- 
tion, and with the consent of the body, from the effective du- 
ties of his office, but to continue to assist his colleagues as 
might be practicable and agreeable to himself, was adopted 
in a scries of resolutions highly commendatory of him as a 
Christian minister and an efficient and approved chief pas- 
tor of the Church — a comjiliment as heartily given as it 
was richly deserved. 

" It may not be amiss to pause awhile here to make a few 
suggestions: (1) Signs of dissatisfaction with that part of 
our Church polity involved in the presiding eldership and lay 
representation had occurred for several years, but not until 
now had this opposition assumed an attitude so united, and so 
menacing to tlie harmony and integrity of the Church. (2) 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 217 



This opposition was confined principally to the Eastern 
and Northern Conferences — the Western and Southern 
being more conservative. At the first delegated Gen- 
eral Conference (1812), resolutions proposing to elect 
tlie presiding ciders by the Annual Conferences were 
debated two days and rejected. The Bishops — Asbury 
and McKendree — were decidedly opposed to them, (o) 
At every successive session down to 1828 this question 
continued to disturb the supreme legislative council of the 
Church. Since then, and especially in the SoutherJi 
branch of our common Methodism, it has done little harm, 
because we have kept abreast with the sentiment of our 
wisest and best members. May not the time come wlicn 
our Northern brethren will need the conservative aid of 
the South to resist this inroad upon primitive and constitu- 
tional Methodism? (4) This measure could not have been 
carried in 1820 except by the aid of prominent Southern 
delegates — Dr. CVq^ers and others, for example — induced 
thereto by appeals for a 'compromise j^eace measure,^ but 
which, upon more mature reflection, they felt bound to 
reconsider and oppose. (5) The princi2)al grounds upon 
v.'hich the senior Bishop and the Bishop elect rested their 
objections were that the change proposed as to the presiding 
eldership was radical and revolutionary ; that our episcopacy 
is an integral and coordinate element in the very constitution 
and organization of the Church — its chief executive; that th.e 
episcopacy is a general and itinerant oversight, charged with 
the duties of supervising the whole body and officially re- 
sponsible for the administration of the rules, laws, and 
usages of the Discipline; that their efficient performance 
of these duties of administration demand that they shall 
have the authority to appoint and change those sub-officials 
who may be necessary to act in their place according to the 
law; that it would be unreasona])lc and unjust to impcsc 



218 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

upon a Bishop the duty of conserviug the polity and har- 
monious working of our economy, and subject him to high 
penalty for alleged failure, unless he could select and dis- 
miss the persons through whom, in his necessary absence, 
the complicated and onerous duties would devolve of in- 
structing and controlling the junior pastors under him. 
In all Avell-organized governments, pretending to secure 
freedom to their subjects, there must be a division of offi- 
cial powers; and like every machine which, however well 
constructed, is useless, and consequently a practical failure, 
unless a moving 2^ower is attached to it adequate to its har- 
monious oj^eration, so of governments, civil and ecclesias- 
tical. If there be an excess of propelling force, there is 
danger; if too little, it is useless. In the first place, we 
have to fear a despotism; in the last, anarchy. In our 
civil government we distribute the control • of the system 
among three distinct coordinate heads, or departments — 
the legislative, or law-making. State and national, under 
constitutional restrictions ; the executive, of which the Pres- 
ident is chief; and the judiciary, or Supreme Court. These 
all act in their respective departments through appointees ; 
where they cannot do so personally, they have power to ap- 
point, change, and oversee them, their official responsil^ilities 
require the right of appointing them. There is, however, 
a marked difference between the constitution of our Church 
and of our civil government; for while the latter restricts 
the power of the Federal Government from doing any thing 
excepting such as pertains to the general welfare, reserving 
the remainder of power to the people or the States respect- 
ively, the former confers plenary, not to say unlimited, au- 
thority upon its supreme legislative department, subject to 
only a few limitations; and it is worthy of remark that one 
of these few restrictions is the positive prohibition of the 
power to ' do away episcopacy, or destroy the p^a;i. of our itin- 



BISIIOr OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 219 



erant general siiperintendency' Again, our Church govern- 
ment differs Avidely from other forms of episcopal regime. 
Take the Protestant Episcopal, for instance. They claim a 
divine right and an unbroken tactual succession of persons 
as Bishops from the apostles. We hold that no such suc- 
cession can be traced, or is necessary ; that, on the contrary, 
the true succession, instead of being personal, is that of 
scriptural doctrine, experience, and practice, affirmed and 
authorized by a regularly organized Christian Church for 
the sole purpose of spreading and perpetuating the kingdom 
of God over the world, and that thus we follow scriptural 
analogy and the usage of the primitive Church. Expedi- 
ency and practical utility combine with the great purpose 
and early usages of the Church in sustaining our claim. 

"Our system also recognizes its ministers as coming up 
by nomination from its membership as distinguished from 
its high officials. It in effect says, as did the apostles on a 
memorable occasion, ' Choose ye out seven men from among 
yourselves whom ive may appoint' etc. While no one in 
our Church can be licensed to preach, or ordained to office, 
without a regular examination and election emanating from 
the Church, I believe a Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church can ordain at his discretion. 

"Another difference is, our whole economy is essentially 
itinerant, our episcopacy is a general itinerancy — general, 
not partial or local ; a Bishop is such in every part of the 
Church — has rights and functions equally regular and valid 
everywhere; itinerant instead of local or diocesan. Like 
his appointees, he must travel as well as preach and oversee 
his charge. For a ffulure to discharge all these duties, or 
any of them, he is subject to arrest and deposition. At 
each General Conference the records of all the Annual 
Conferences are critically examined; the action of these 
bodies, and especially the decisions made on all questions 



220 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

of law, carefully noted, and if disapproved are formally 
reported, and may be the ground of trial and expulsion of 
the Bishop presiding. Is it not right that under such re- 
sponsibilities he should be allowed to select his advisers and 
assistants in overseeing the charge intrusted to his hands? 
Would not the change sought for so cripple and modify our 
episcopacy as to create a serious ol)stacle to the efficient 
exercise of its power? So thought Asbury, Bruce, Mc- 
Kendree, and Soule, and a great majority in the Church, 
South. 

''During the pendency of this controversy a very impor- 
tant point was raised, involving the question of settling a 
constitutional laAv when the General Conference adopts and 
persists in maintaining an act which the Bishops as firmly 
hold to be unconstitutional, and therefore null and void. 
For instance, the third article of the Constitution, on the 
organization of a delegated general legislative body, thus 
restricts and limits its action: 'They shall not change or 
alter any part or rule of our government so as to do away 
episcopacy, or destroy the plan of our itinerant general 
superintendency.' AVhile it was admitted that these sus- 
pended rules may not do away episcoj^acy, it was held 
by Asbury, McKendree, Soule, and generally by our most 
thoughtful Southern preachers, that in withdrawing the 
presiding eldership from the aid and control of the Bishops 
the harmonious and effective operation of our i)lan of itin- 
erant general superintendency would be virtually destroyed, 
and the poAver of the episcopacy crippled. Who was to de- 
cide this issue? If the Bishops persisted in exercising their 
former authority, they could not enforce it against the An- 
nual Conferences and the dominant party of the General 
Conference. And it would be absurd, as well as anomalous, 
for a delegated legislative body to sit in judgment upon the 
constitutionality of their own enactments. Bishop McKen- 



ElSnOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 221 

dree therefore determined to address a circular to each An- 
nual Conference, and call upon them, as the original source 
of delegated power, to determine the vexed question. This 
course had been successfully resorted to in a previous case; 
but fortuiuitely, before the responses from the Annual Con- 
ferences came, by the overwhelming majority of the General 
Conference of 1828 these resolutions were annulled, and, let 
us hope, forevjer settled." 



222 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

General Conference of 186G — Changes Made — Lay 
Element — New Bishops. 

AFTER his round of Conferences in the fall and winter 
of 1865-66, he went to the General' Conference which 
met in N^ew Orleans in April, 1866. This Conference gave 
to the Church lav deleo-ation. Xo wiser monument was 
ever added to the life and energy of a Church organization. 
While it increased the importance of the lay element in our 
Church and added largely to its influence, it did not detract 
in the least from the influence of the clergy. Dr. Palmer, 
the distinguished Presbyterian minister of New Orleans, 
who witnessed the whole proceeding spoke of it in the high- 
est terms of commendation. He declared it to be an ex- 
ample of the moral sublime, and that great good would re- 
sult from utilizing this important element in the Church. 
And his declaration has been found in all respects a true 
prophecy. AVe could not now do without this important 
element in our General Conference. It is conservative ; it 
is practical; it is eminently helpful. This change in our 
Church polity met with the hearty approbation of Bishop 
Paine. He was always progressive, as well as highly con- 
servative. He was not impetuous. He belonged to that 
class of ministers of whom the Apostle Paul was a type. 
He was altogether unlike the impetuous Peter. He seldom 
had to repent at leisure of what he had done in haste. His 
sound judgment approved of a measure which would bring 
to the front so mucli talent and so mucli piety, and which 
for near three-quarters of a century had been suflered to lie 
dormant. The change has worked as well as its most san- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 223 

giiine friends could have anticipated. It Avas at this Con- 
ference, amid great excitement and confusion, that he took 
the chair at the earnest request of one of his colleagues 
Mhose modesty had rendered him unequal to the task of 
brino-ino; order out of such confusion. He showed himself 
every inch a Bishop, Combining mildness and dignity with 
a power to command which few men have ever surpassed, he 
soon restored order; and holding the reins with a firm and 
steady hand, he caused the business to move on without a jar 
to the end of the session. Said one eye-witness to the writer : 
" I never saw authority wielded with such ease and such 
perfect success in my life." At this Conference the vener- 
able Bishop Andrew asked to be relieved from active work. 
He had been a Bishop thirty-four years. He had been 
equal to every emergency. His purity of life had never 
been surpassed in the history of the Church. He was a 
saintly man. He had wielded a wide and pure influence in 
his day. He had as little to regret as almost any man that 
had filled the episcopal chair. His address asking to be re- 
lieved deeply affected the Conference. They saw a grand 
old hero retiring from the strife to rest on his arms. They 
parted from him with tears of teuderest sympathy. 

Then Bishop Early asked also to be i)laced in the same 
relation. He chafed under the pressure of infirmities which 
he could not resist. He did not wish to rest. He wanted 
to Avork on and die in the field. But acting under the ad- 
vice of his best and wisest friends, he retired regretting to 
the last that the necessity was upon him. Then it became 
necessary to elect four additional Bishops. William IMay 
Wightman, of Alabama, then President of Greensboro Uni- 
versity ; Enoch Mather Marvin, of Texas ; David Seth Dog- 
gett, of Virginia ; and Holland Nimmons McTyeire, of 
Alabama, were elected. These were all good men and true. 
Marvin was the great evangelist. He encompassed tlie 



224 LIFE OF EOBEPwT FAINE, D.D. 

globe and fell at last at his post, beloved and honored by 
all. Doggett was the profound theologian and eloquent 
pulpit orator; Wightman, the accomplished scholar, the 
refined Christian gentleman, and the elegant writer; and 
McTyeire was the great debater, the original thinker, the 
superior parliamentarian and thorough ecclesiastical lawyer. 
The last named is still active, laborious, and useful; the 
others have all gone to their reward. Four better men 
could not have been placed in this high and responsible of- 
fice. They were all brave men, tried and true. They un- 
derstood well the needs of the Church at this important 
juncture, and went at once to work to build up the waste 
places and rehabilitate a Church whose very existence had 
been threatened. Bishop Paine was now the active Senior 
Bisho}). All confided in him. He had the perfect confi- 
dence of his colleagues and of the whole Church. The 
Episcopal College vas strong, vigorous, active. Church 
affairs progressed well. Doctors McFerrin and Sehon were 
the active and popular Missionary Secretaries. The Church 
moved. The Xashville Christian Advocate was committed 
to Dr. Summers, and Dr. A. H. Bedford was placed in 
charge of the Book Concern. Soon prosperity succeeded 
the terrible dearth produced by the war. The District 
Conferences brought the Bishops more closely in contact 
with the peojile. Gracious revivals of religion added many 
new members to the Church. Old educational enterprises 
were still carried forward, and new ones were undertaken. 
Soon all fears subsided as to the jDermanency and success of 
the Church. To no living man was this prosperity due 
more than to Bishop Robert Paine. During the summer of 
1866 he went all over the State of Mississippi ji reaching as 
he went. He had great liberty and power. There were 
many revivals and many converts. He preached at Vicks- 
burg, Grenada, Holly Springs, Oxford, Jackson, Canton, 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 225 

Crystal Sprinii:?, Hazleliiirst, Beauregard, Weston, Brook- 
haven, Brandon, and at many places in the country, m 
churches and under arbors. Thus was the Church edified 
and many sinners turned from darkness to light. He was 
approaching the close of the sixty-seventh year of his labori- 
ous life, and was never more active and never more useful. 
Mourners were called, and then led to Christ and enabled 
to rejoice in the forgiveness of sin and the witness of the 
Holy Spirit. At one meeting there Avere forty converts, and 
all along this preaching tour he was successful in winning 
souls. At Corinth, Miss., he was again robbed, and on an- 
other part of the route the train was derailed. Out of all 
these perils he was brought by that special Providence in 
which he so confidently trusted. Toward the close of the 
year 1866 he presided at the Memphis Conference at Jack- 
son, Tenn., the INIississippi Conference at Brookhaven, ]\Iiss., 
and the Louisiana Conference at Baton Rouji-e. A sin^-ular 
legal question came up for episcopal decision at the IMissis- 
sippi Conference. It was this: 

Can a member of the Conference accused of an offense alleged to 
have been committed three years ago, and which has been rumored 
and reported for more tlian two years but never (k^alt with according 
to hiw, be brought to trial in any other method than is provided for 
in the Discipline of the Clmrch? James McLaurin, 

II. II, Montgomery. 

Brookhfxven, 180G. 

In reply to the above, I have to say that of course the method of 
trial in all cases must be according to the Discipline of the Church. 

R. Paine. 

December, 18CG. 

"Of course" the Bishop decided in favor of adhering to 
the Discipline. This was the rule of his life. He followed 
the old paths. Emulating his example, the ministers and 
members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, will 
never depart from the letter or spirit of the Discipline. To 
15 



226 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

him the most alarming feature in the history of the times 
was the disposition on the part of many to make some " new 
departure" either in thedoctrine or discipline of the Church. 
" Let us keep our rules and follow our doctrines," were the 
great points to be observed throughout the Church. Let 
all who are disposed to reject the one and neglect the other 
remember that he never felt safe but in the observance of 
both. Without servility he clung to the great standards of 
Methodism ; let his sons in the gospel follow his footsteps. 



Bisiior OF THE i^r. E. CHURCH, south. 227 



CHAPTER XXXIII. 

Southern University — Bishop Soule's Death — Memorial by 

Bishop Paine. 

EARLY iu 1867 a meeting of the Board of Trustees was 
held at Greensboro, Ala., to elect a President for the 
Southern University to succeed Bishop Wightraan. Bishop 
Paine, who from the beginning had taken the deepest in- 
terest in this institution, was present. Dr. L. C. Garland 
was elected. He was present, and after mature consideration 
declined the office. This was a great disappointment to the 
friends of the university. Dr. Garland was at that time 
connected with the University of Mississippi. He was a 
man of the highest culture, and was well known in Alabama 
as an educator inferior to none. 

Immediately after his return home, on March 8th, the 
Bishop learned that Bishop Soule had been called from labor 
to reward. He enters in his diary just these words : " Bishop 
Soule reported dead. Great and good man — the noblest of 
his race." On Sunday, April 7th, he preached the memorial 
discourse of Bishop Soule. As this is an excellent tribute 
to one the story of whose life has never been told, I have 
concluded to make it a part of the life of Bishop Paine. It 
is very proper that these two great men should be thus in- 
dissolubly joined. Let the wreath prepared by the hand of 
Bishop Paine and placed upon the grave of his venerable 
colleague be preserved here as a fitting memorial of both : 

"At the request of this Church and congregation, I pur- 
pose to devote this hour to a memorial discourse on the 
character of the late Joshua Soule, Senior Bishop of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The text suggested as 



228 LIFE OF FvOBERT PAINE, D.D. 

apposite to the occasion is Joshua xxiv. 31 : 'And Israel 
served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of 
the elders that overlived Joshua.' 'Know ye not that there 
is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?' A 
star of the first magnitude has set. After a lono; and brill- 
iant circuit of more than seventy years through our ecclesi- 
astical hemisphere, Bishop Soule has calmly and majes- 
tically sunk below the horizon, leaving the heavens still 
glowing with the reflection of his radiant history. A name 
familiar as a household word to every Methodist, and known 
r.nd honored throughout America and Europe as a leader 
of one of the hosts of Israel, is stricken from the roll of the 
living, and is transferred to the noble list of those who hav- 
ing ' fought the good fight' are crowned by the great Captain 
as victors forever. A truly great and useful man is, next 
to divine grace, the richest and rarest gift of God to hu- 
manity. And when these qualities are vigorously, and for 
a long period, wielded in the discharge of the duties of a 
Ingh and holy ofiice, why may not the children and friends 
of Zion unite in solemn assembly to embalm and perpetuate 
the memory by reheai-sing the deeds of their venerated but 
departed friend and father? Surely he must be greatly de- 
ficient in the feeling of reverence for exalted virtue, and 
have a low standard of friendship and of affection, who 
would not consent to mark the exit of such a man wuth an 
ap})ropriate expression of an appreciative memorial, and by 
so doing give to a noble character its merited indorsement. 
We honor ourselves in honoring the worthy dead. It is due 
to the living, as well as to the departed. And while we 
would jealously guard the pulpit from desecration by the 
discussion of inappropriate subjects, and especially against 
all falsely flattering eulogies of frail humanity, and in this 
particular case are admonished as to tJie delicacy of the 
task before us, by the well-known and oft-repeated feelings 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CllUliCII, SOUTH. 229 



of tlie deceased against ostentatious obsequies and unde- 
served panegyrics, both in funerals and biographies, and 
do freely admit that all excesses of this kind violate both 
good taste and gospel simplicity, yet are we equally confi- 
dent that neither is infracted by a calm ai:d truthful por- 
traiture of the lives and deaths of the truly exemplary and 
devoted servants of God. The Bible is full of such memori- 
als, and even our blessed Redeemer himself paused to por- 
tray the character of his beloved and stern forerunner. 
Prompted both by affection and piety, by our respect for 
exalted virtue, and by the feeling which yearns to perpetu- 
ate the memory of the loved and the lost, and which in- 
stinctively recoils against consigning to cold oblivion the 
names and deeds which deserve imperishable remembrance, 
we meet to-day to lay our simple Avreath of heart-felt Chris- 
tian sympathy and hallowed respect on the tomb of Bishop 
Soule. 

"Joshua Soule was the fifth son of Joshua and IMary Soule, 
and was born August 1, 1781, in Bristol, Maine, then a 
province of Massachusetts. His grandfather Avas a descend- 
ant of George Soule, one of the Pilgrim fathers who came 
from England in the Mayflower. His father was for thirty 
years the captain of a vessel, and only ceased to follow a 
sea-faring life upon the loss of his vessel during the Kev- 
olutionary war. Agriculture was his employment after- 
ward. He and his wife Avere members of the Old Kirk, or 
Scotch Presbyterian Church. 

"Joshua Soule was from his early youth remarkable for 
his sedateness — ' fearing the Lord.' He read his Bible nuich ; 
was impressed with its holy truths, ,and never in his life 
swore an oath. Profanity always horrified him. He never 
knew the taste of whisky ; and what is still more remark- 
able, swine's flesh was never used at his father's table, nor 
eaten by his son during his long life. 



230 LIFE OF ROBEllT PAINE, D.D. 



"The laborious and indomitable Jesse Lee, about 1793, 
visited that part of New England, and was the first Meth- 
odist preacher young Joshua ever heard. Under the min- 
istry of Lee, Thomas Cope, the two Hulls, Philip Wagger, and 
other Methodist preachers, he became enlightened and awak- 
ened, abandoned the stringent Calvinistic dogmas of the Old 
Kirk school, and earnestly sought for divine forgiveness. A 
peculiarity of his religious history is that he could never 
state the exact hour or day of his conversion; he knew the 
week during which his burdened soul experienced relief, but 
could not name the exact time when this great event oc- 
curred. After a severe mental struggle, he received the 
'witness of the Spirit' while praying in secret in the morn- 
ing before sunrise, and then and there became conscious of 
his acceptance with God. This inward witness and sense of 
divine favor he retained to the end of his life. After due 
examination as to doctrines, and prayerful consideration of 
his duty, he resolved to join the Methodist Church, but was 
violently opposed by his parents and fi'iends. Finally, how- 
ever, by his prudence and piety he induced his father to 
hear and examine into the doctrines taught by the Meth- 
odist preachers; and the result was the conversion of his 
parents and their nnitingwith him in the Methodist Church. 
Henceforth his father's house became a home for the 
preachers, and a stated place of preaching. These events 
occurred in the sj)ring of 1797. 

"Li 1798 he was licensed to preach, recommended for the 
Itinerancy, and traveled under the presiding elder that year. 
In June, 1799, he was admitted on trial in the New En- 
gland Conference, and with Timothy Merritt, as his colleague, 
traveled Portland Circuit. In 1800 he was alone on Union 
River Circuit. In 1801 his appointment was near Cape 
Cod. He was ordained deacon at the close of his second 
year, by Bishop AVhatcoat, and at the end of his fourth year 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 231 



the same Bishop ordained him elder. In 1803, and while 
filling his fifth year's work, he was married to Miss Sarah 
Allen, in Providence, Rhode Island, with whom he spent 
fifty-four years of married happiness, and who, in 1857, 
went before him to paradise. 

"In 1805 he was made a presiding elder, and his energy, 
fidelity, and great administratiye talents became so obvious 
as to lead to his continuance in that oflSce with the excep- 
tion of one year when he was stationed in Lynn, Mass., until 
1816, when he w\as made Book Agent and editor of the 
Methodist Magazine by the General Conference. He was a 
member of the General Conference of 1808, held in Bal- 
timore, and drew up the constitution which still stands as 
such in the Discipline, and is a monument of his wisdom. 
His responsibilities and embarrassments as agent and ed- 
itor were very great. Almost every thing was needed, and 
yet he not only saved the 'Concern' from bankruptcy, or- 
ganized and systematized the Publishing House and placed 
it upon a sure basis, but edited with remarkable ability the 
Magazine as well as the various books Avhich were brought 
out under his supervision. Upon the expiration of four 
years — at the General Conference of 1820 — he was elected 
Bishop of the Church, but declined to accept the office. 
This refusal to receive consecration as a Bishop was owing 
to the adoption of certain changes in the economy of the 
Church which he regarded as unconstitutional, tending to 
render the episcopacy inefficient, and destroy the whole 
itinerant system. Regarding the action of the General 
Conference in the premises as subversive of the consti- 
tutional division of powers, infringing upon the powers and 
privileges of the episcopacy to such an extent that it would 
be impossible to carry out effectually ' the plan of our itiner- 
ant general superintendency,' he felt constrained to state to 
the General Conference his views of their action, and to 



232 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



decline consecration. Many leading and excellent members 
of the body, and several of the Bishops, had favored the 
action — as a j^eace measure — i. e., to satisfy the radicalism of 
the Northern representatives of the Church, and much sur- 
prise and dissatisfiiction was expressed at his course. But 
sustained by his own clear convictions of right and duty, as 
well as by the concurrence of the senior Bishop, McKendree, 
and many of the Southern and Western delegates, he rested 
satisfied in his own sense of duty discharged. He preferred 
a good conscience to office. 

"In the interval between 1820 and 1824 he was stationed 
in the cities of New York and Baltimore. It was in May, 
1824, at the General Conference held in Baltimore, that the 
speaker first formed his acquaintance. At this Conference 
he was again elected to the episcopal office; and as the ob- 
jectionable action of the last General Conference had become 
unpopular and could not be reenacted after its suspension 
for the j)ast four years, many of those Avho originally favored 
the 'suspended resolutions' had changed their views, he felt 
it his duty no longer to Avithhold his consent, and was or- 
dained Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

"Prior and uj) to the session of 1844, Bishop Soule had 
been the leading spirit of the episcopacy. His travels and 
labors extended over all sections of the United States, and 
he Avas admired and revered wherever he went. His min- 
istry was in demonstration of the Spirit and with power. 
He presided Avith consummate dignity and ease in the An- 
nual and General Conferences, maintained the integrity and 
efficiency of the discipline of the Church both by his pre- 
cepts and exam2:)le, watched over every interest of every 
section of the Church with untiring zeal, and had the high- 
est confidence and esteem of the great body of citizens as 
w^ll as Christians throughout the land. But when the ma- 
jority of the General Conference of 1844 determined to 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 2:>o 



overleap the barriers of the hiw and constitution of tlie 
Cliurch by virtually deposing Bishop Andrew without 
charges or form of trial — by a simple resolution declaring 
him, in his official character, unacceptable to the Church in 
consequence of his connection ^vith slavery by his marriage 
with a lady owning a few slaves — he threw himself as pacifi- 
cator into the path of the tempest, and endeavored to preserve 
the unity of the Church by postponing action on the subject 
until the voice of the Church could be heard. All his col- 
leagues at first joined him in the effort; but it was soon 
found that nothing could avert extreme measures. The 
majority rushed to consummate their purpose, and the mi- 
nority were obliged to seek redress in a separation from their 
former relations. After the question of separation had been 
fairly submitted to the Southern Church according to the 
plan agreed upon by a large majority of the General Con- 
ference, and acting under the provisions of that plan, the 
convention was held and the Southern Methodist Episco- 
pal Church was organized in 1846 in Peteisburg, Ya. 
Bishop Soule adhered to it, as he had a right to do un- 
der that compact, and began the exercise of his office as 
a Bishop in our Church. Rising superior to early prej- 
udices, to local and personal attachments, to every selfish 
and inferior considei-ation, deliberately and with a degree 
of moral sublimity of principle seldom equaled, he united 
himself with the weaker party — took up his residence amidst 
strangers, and freely and fully identified himself with the 
fortunes of the Southern Church. He planted himself upon 
the constitution he had reported, and which had been adopted 
thirty-six years previously, and upon that altar laid himself 
as a sacrifice to principle. With him, as with others, it was 
Jiot attachment to slavery, as has often been asserted, but 
devotion to constitutional law, to equal rights, and to the 
integrity of Church compacts. He never did and never 



234 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

would own a slave. But he Avas the Bishop of the Avhole 
Church, and when it was divided he felt bound to stand by 
the right, if it was the weak side. Noble, heroic man ! Never 
shall we foro;et the scene when he announced his resolution 
to immolate himself upon the altar of the constitution and 
abide by the fate of his Southern brethren. We all know 
how he has demeaned himself since then ; how — although 
the senior Bishop of the college, aged, and often and in 
various ways deeply afflicted — he has kept in the front rank 
in planning and laboring for the Church. 

" The parallelism between Joshua, the heroic son of Nun, 
and our departed Bishop is remarkable. For many long 
and trying years the trusted friend and faithful minister of 
Moses, whose fidelity and courage on one occasion sought to 
save his people from a great error and consequent calamities; 
^Yho upon the death of Moses became his successor and the 
successftil leader of Israel, and the founder and honored 
ruler of an empire established by his wisdom and courage ; 
who was the connectino; link between the old and the new 
dynasties, and whose long, laborious, and useful life closed 
at last amidst the tears and regrets of the whole nation — 
such a life is remarkably similar to the history of our lately 
departed Bishop. Both of them were singularly and di- 
vinely adapted to the tasks imposed upon them by the prov- 
idence of God ; both Avere raised up to meet the great emer- 
gencies of their times, and were faithful in all their high 
and holy trusts ; both were rulers in Israel, long spared to 
go in and come out among their respective charges ; and both 
were brave, firm of heart, and of great common sense and 
devoted piety. The parallelism also holds good in their 
deaths as in their lives. Both lived amidst the increasing 
veneration of their respective generations, and both died 
resigned and prepared amidst the regi*ets of their peoj^les, 
leaving them the rich legacy of exalted principles illustrated 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 235 

by noble and useful deeds. And may ^Ye not fondly hope, 
while "sve devoutly pray, that as the influence of the former 
was effective, all his days and all the days of the elders that 
overlived him, in leading Israel to fear and serve God, even 
a people so deficient in knowledge and moral stability, so 
the influence of our beloved and honored Joshua will never 
be lost upon our Christian people, but that it will increase as 
time advances, and be permanent as the Church itself The 
architect of a pure and noble life is posterity's greatest ben- 
efiictor, for he erects a monument which marks the way and 
guides the steps of a hundred generations through the wilder- 
ness of life to glory and to God. 

" The person of Bishop Soule was imposing. He was 
about six feet high ; his breast broad and deep ; his head ex- 
traordinarily large — so large that he was obliged to have a 
block made specially for the manufacture of his hats; his 
cheek-bones wide; his forehead high; his mouth and chin 
expressive of firmness ; his eyes deeply set, beaming with 
intellect, bespeaking decision, and overhung with a massive 
brow fringed with long and heavy eyebrows and lashes 
whose motions indicated unmistakably his feelings. His 
whole physical structure was perfectly developed, evincing 
great muscular power and capabilities of action and endur- 
ance. The whole exterior man was impressive and com- 
manding — a fit temple for the noble soul that inhabited it I 
His manner appeared to strangers reserved, but always 
courtly and dignified. Vice and folly stood abashed in his 
presence; he seemed intuitively to read the character of 
men, and was a terror to the lazy and unfiiithful young 
preachers who came before him in the examination of their 
characters at the Annual Conferences. His articulation 
was slow and distinct; his voice a deep baritone, singularly 
sonorous and finely modulated. While preaching his erect 
attitude, few and significant gesticulations, his rich, deep- 



236 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

toned and musical voice, his perfect self-command, combined 
with his profound thoughts and associated in the minds of 
the auditory with the grandeur and goodness of the speaker, 
imparted to his ministry a sublime moral power. All felt 
that he had authority to speak for God, for his walk and 
conversation were in heaven; that he had a right to 're- 
prove, rebuke, and exhort' saints and sinners, for his whole 
life was blameless; and that if any man had he certainly 
had the right to counsel and Avarn the Church to whose ex- 
clusive welfare he had unreservedly devoted his whole en- 
ergies and means through a long, laborious, and eventful life. 
We do not know what advantages he derived from early 
education, nor the extent of his subsequent literary attain- 
ments. We are aware that he became an itinerant preacher 
at seventeen years of age, and that for several years his 
work required long and fatiguing rides through a new and 
rough country, where, the presumption is, he had but limited 
access to books and but little time to devote to them. But 
we do know that he studied the ancient languages and the 
great English classics, with which he retained familiarity to 
the last. He wrote and spoke with much correctness, force, 
and frequently with elegance. Judging from the ability 
he displayed as an editor of books and the Magazine, his 
published essays and sermons, he was a good scholar in all 
the departments of learning pertaining to his official duties, 
both of the pulpit and the press. His private letters to his 
old and devoted friend Bishop McKendree, of which we 
have read and now have in our possession a great many 
specimens, display his mental and moral ^peculiarities very 
clearly. Even his handwriting, so bold, uniform, and free 
from blots and errors, symbolizes the man. Indeed, how- 
ever different and difficult the tasks which his varied and 
eventful life imposed upon him, he was always found equal 
to their proper performance. -Whether as a manager of a 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 237 

great and complicated enterprise, as preacher, editor, finan- 
cier, or Bishop, he never failed of high success. And thus 
he stood the true test of real greatness. We do not pretend 
that he exceeded all others in all or either of these partic- 
ulars, and we disclaim for him the fascinating faculty of 
high imaginative power; but we do claim that in masculine 
strength of intellect, in wide range and grand grasp of 
thought, in clearness, boldness, and force of expression, as 
well as in purity, dignity, and consistency of a long and use- 
ful life, few have ever surpassed him. God made him for a 
leader and commander of the people, and grace made him a 
great captain in Israel. 

" If it may be allowed us to enter into the sanctuary of 
his social and domestic relations, we can bear testimony, 
from an intimate acquaintance of more than forty years, 
that socially he Avas eminently agreeable. He was simple 
in his tastes and habits, kind and sympathizing in his 
feelings ; and while (exacting upon himself as to all his own 
duties, and firm in requiring of others, especially of preachers, 
a strict compliance with all the obligations involved in their 
official vows — yet even when in obedience to the decisions 
of the Conferences he has been compelled to administer a 
public reproof to an unfortunate delinquent, we have heard 
his voice quaver with emotion and have seen the tears stream 
down his flice. The stern, cast-iron man was gentle and 
tender as a loving mother at heart. He indulged no en- 
mities or rivalries ; no envy nor self-complacent airs of supe- 
riority; no ambition, no low greed of gain; no hankering 
for luxury and ease. Through life, and to the very last, 
willing — yea, anxious — to labor and, if need be, die in his 
beloved jNIaster's Avork. 

"The fi'iendship of such a soul might be expected to be 
true and hearty. He had no trouble with his colleagues. 
He respected and loved them all. But there was a warmth 



238 LIFE OF ROBERT RAINE, D.D. 

and cordiality of esteem and love between himself and 
Bishoj) McKendree which was beautiful. It transcended 
the love of Jonathan and David. In his conjugal relation 
he was liappy. A helpmeet in every respect was his wife ; 
and so fully was she iml)ued with his feelings, and so con- 
fident that in his long and frequent absences from his family 
he was but doing his duty, that she strove as best she could 
to sup2:)ly the want of his domestic influence ])y untiring 
devotion to the interest of their large family. She was a 
fit partner for her noble husband. All who knew them can 
attest how happily they lived together, and how deeply he 
felt her loss Avhen in 1857 she was called away. 

" His election and consecration to the episcopal office oc- 
curred, as already stated, in 1824, and he immediately there- 
after left his family, then residins; in Baltimore, and takino; 
a wide range of Conferences in those sections of the country 
where the inconveniences and difficulties of traveling were 
the greatest, he traversed the North-west, the West, and 
South, visiting the Indian tribes on our Avestern border, and 
so fully devoted his time to his official work that he was 
absent from his family eleven months in the year. And 
this is a fair sample of his labors for many successive years. 
So thoroughly given up was he to his high and holy work 
that when from excessive labor and exposure it became im- 
possible for him to endure the fatigue of traveling on land, 
he volunteered to visit California, and actually did so when 
his friends thought he would die on the way. His reply to 
remonstrances against the journey was: 'I shall start, sir, 
and would as soon be buried in the Pacific Ocean as in 
Westminster Abbey.' Indeed, such was his love of the 
ocean — having inherited from his father a fondness for the 
dark blue sea — that many of us suspected that he, like Dr. 
Coke, preferred to make the coral bed his tomb. 

"It need scarcely be said that he was a model Bishop. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 239 

He combined every quality for the office. His thorough ac- 
quaintance Avith the organic laws of the Church, with its 
history and legislation — having been a memljer of every 
General Conference since 1804 — 'his giant intellect, the 
de})th and breadth of his learning, the sincerity, simplicity, 
and steadfastness of his Christian faith, the purity of his 
life, his untiring zeal, his indomitable perseverance' and in- 
corruptible integrity, all united to fit him for the office. 
And above all, his 'love to Christ, and his unreserved ded- 
ication of soul and body, time and talents, to his beloved 
Methodism as the means of 'spreading scrii)tural holiness 
over these lands,' gave earnestness, sublimity, and success to 
his labors as a divinely appointed cpiscopos. 

"Bishop Soule's thorough acquaintance with ecclesiastical 
history, and especially with the history, laws, and usages of 
Methodism ; his familiarity with the rules of order governing 
deliberative bodies ; his wonderful self-possession and strict 
impartiality, adapted him to the office of president of the 
Conferences. And then his courteous, dignified, and deeply 
impressive manner most admirably fitted him for the chair. 
In the stationing council — or, as it is frequently called the 
Bishops cabinet — where the utmost patience, prudence, and 
im2:)artiality are demanded, and where sound judgment and 
great firmness should be blended with true love for the 
Church and sympathy for the preachers and their families, 
he was preeminently qualified to preside. And it is pre- 
sumed that in the tens of thousands of appointments made 
by him during more than forty years of his episcopacy, no 
one ever deliberately believed that Bishop Soule had given 
him his appointment, however hard and inconvenient it 
might have been, from any other motive than the glory of 
God and the good of the Church. For more than twenty 
years we have traveled over the fields of his operations, have 
tracked his paths from the Atlantic to the far West among 



240 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

the Indian tribes, and everywhere we have found his name 
a tower of strength, and his memory an inspiration and a 
blessing to the preachers and members. And now that full 
of years and honors he has slowly sunk to the grave, the 
millions of Methodists throughout the world are exclaiming, 
* Know ye not that a pi ince and a great man has fallen in 
Israel?' while we of the Church, South, especially realize 
the bereavement, and are constrained to^ay. Our heroic and 
faithful leader, our brave and noble Joshua, has fallen in 
front of our host. 

" Such is our feeble and imperfect memorial of the great 
and good Bishop Soule, one whom v»e have long regarded, 
taken in the entireness of his history, as the noblest specimen 
of our humanity we have ever known. That such a man, 
after seventy years of uninterrupted and entire consecration 
to the noblest ends that ever the mind conceived, should die 
prepared and resigned, might be reasonably expected. And 
thus it was. For many years he was a great sufferer. Rheu- 
matism, asthma, and erysipelas alternately tortured him. 
AVe remember to have overtaken him traveling with his 
faithful wife in a little wagon from Lebanon, Ohio, to the 
city of Baltimore, to attend the General Conference in 1840. 
Unable to sit up or lie down, and the cover of the vehicle 
being too low to allow him to stand up, he performed the 
entire journey upon his knees. It was the only way he 
could get there, and the interest of the Church required his 
attendance, and he went. Indeed, long after other good and 
great men would have ceased to travel, and would have re- 
tired from active and extended labors, like his blessed and 
beloved predecessors, Asbury and McKendree, his indomit- 
able will and love of God and his cause bore him onward 
amidst suffering and privations. But 'worn by slowly roll- 
ing years,' and borne down by increasing infirmities of 
eighty-six years, his end at last drew near. Bishop McTyeire, 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 241 



Dr. Suniniers, Dr. Green, and others, had the privilege of 
visiting and Avituessing the exit of the patriarch— gathered 
like the head men and captains of the tribes of Israel of old 
around the couch of the dying Joshua. Such was the life, 
character, and death of one of the purest and noblest of 
earth. INIay we emulate his virtues, that our end may be 
like his, and join him at last where there is no death, sei> 
aration, or sorroAV ! " 
IG 



242 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XXXIV. 

IStill "Working — Depressed — Sick — Unconscious for Months 
— Providential Kecoyery — Renev/ed Preaching with 
Power. 

AFTER attending the Bishops' meeting in Nashville, he 
visited the old homestead in Giles county, Tennessee. 
There he stood once more by the graves of his father and 
mother, and many other loved ones. His reflections Avere 
just such as would be indulged by a pious son Avhile stand- 
ing over the sacred dust of parents he loved so well. Aft- 
er preaching in Pulaski he started late at night, on the 
train, for his home. At Decatur he came near being killed ; 
but God preserved him, as he still had much work for him 
to do. During the entire spring and summer months he 
was busily engaged in attending District Conferences in 
Mississippi and Tennessee. He was not at all well. But 
he did not stop. He was hardly at home for three days at 
a time, from May till October. He held District Confer- 
ences at Brownsville, Trenton, and near Somerville, Ten- 
nessee. Then he visited, officially. Holly Springs, Yerona, 
AVater Valley, Vicksburg, Jackson, and Natchez, Missis- 
sippi. 

In October he held the Tennessee Annual Conference 
at Clarksville, and the Colored Conference at Jackson, 
Tennessee. He also held the Mississippi Conference at 
Natchez, and the Louisiana Conference at New Orleans. 
He had now been more than twenty years a Bishop, and 
fifty years a preacher. For a half century his life had been 
spent in constant hibor in the INIastcr's vineyard ; yet he 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 243 

does not rest. The Master's voice calls him, and in spite 
of debility and pain, and often of severe sickness, he still 
goes. Conscience, duty, the Master's voice, rise infinitely 
above all earthly anxieties or pleasure. Bishop Paine, amid 
his " care of all the churches," had much to depress him 
in his private affairs. From no fault of his he had ])ecome 
oppressed by debts which he never contracted. This was 
a sore affliction to him. His mind became disturbed. He 
was sleepless. He suffered much with his head. He was 
deeply conscientious and thoroughly just. He had large 
planting interests that demanded his attention in order that 
he might relieve himself from the burden of a large debt 
which he felt bound to pay. Still he could not neglect his 
duty to the Church. ■ 

In April, 1868, he started to Louisville, Kentucky, to 
attend a meeting of the Bishops. He was suffering so that 
his dauo-hter, Miss Ludie — now Mrs. John H. Scrugo^s — 
thought it her duty to go with him. On arriving at Nash- 
ville he was much Avorse. He could go no farther. The 
brave, loving daughter determined that it would be best to 
return home. With the help of kind friends he was placed 
on the cars. AVhen they arrived at Tuscumbia, Alabama, 
on May 12, he became unconscious. She determined to 
convey him home. Upon their arrival he knew nothing. 
He did not recognize his OAvn dear, devoted wife, nor the 
faithful daughter whose courage and fidelity had accom- 
plished what few Avomen would have attempted. From 
the 14th of May to the 26th of July, he lay utterly uncon- 
scious. He did not recognize his best friends. He seemed 
utterly mindless. The family were in the deepest sorrow. 
The Church mourned. Prayer for his recovery was offered 
in all places of public worship, around many family al- 
tars, and in thousands of closets. He was visited by many 
of the preachers and other devoted friends, and all Said, 



244 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

"His work is done." I was just on the eve of visiting 
him; he had been my teacher, friend, associate for nine 
years. The Rev. W. C. Johnson came to see me. He was 
just from the Bishop's bedside. He said to me: "Do not 
go. He will not recognize you. He knows nothing. His 
mind seems entirely gone. I am sorry that I went." So 
taking the advice of this excellent man, I did not go. I 
was then writing sketches of Pioneer Methodist Educators, 
and prepared for the 3Iemphis Advocate, then edited by Dr. 
Johnson, an elaborate account of Bishop Paine as an edu- 
cator, and placed him where he belonged, as one of the 
greatest pioneer educators of the Church. Dr. Johnson 
published the article with appropriate comments. He stat- 
ed the Bishop's dangerous and almost hopeless condition, 
and called upon the Church to unite in Earnest prayer for 
his recovery. In this helpless, unconscious state his faith- 
ful wife never lost all hope. She waited and watched and 
prayed, and hoped even against hope. 

The following letter from Bishop Paine gives a full ac- 
count of this mysterious sickness. It was so remarkable 
that I doubt not the letter Avill be read with the greatest 
interest. It exhibits the same facts found in his diary, but 
as they are much more minutely narrated in the letter, it 
is given to the reader just as it came from his hand: 

I have liad a strong desire to write you a long letter ever since 
my recovery from my illness, but, from one cause and another, liave 
deferred it until now. The sympathy manifested for me in my af- 
fliction by brethren and friends throughout tlie country lias deeply 
impressed me, and I desire to express my heart-felt gratitude for it. 
My illness and recovery were alike strange. The doctors attribute 
the former to exhaustion, caused by overtaxing ray strength; and 
they may be right. I had labored almost constantly since our last 
(ieneral Conference. On horseback, in stages and hacks, as -well as 
by railroads, I had been attending district meetings — losing rest and 
Bleep, and on several occasions riding on horseback through drench- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHUKCH, SOUTH. 245 



ing rains, many miles. Last summer and fall my healtlv g ive way 
yet I still persisted to meet my engagements. In April I sufiered 
a sudden and violent attack while riding alone to fill an appointment. 
I became entirely oblivious, and found myself lying on the road, 
having fallen precipitately. I, however, got up stunned and bruised, 
resumed my trip, and tilled my appointment. This was followed 
with considerable debility, and an incessant pain in my head. In 
this condition I started to Louisville, Kentucky, to attend the meet- 
ing of Bishops. My indisposition increased, and I reached Winches- 
ter, Tennessee, in great pain. Here I was constrained to preach, 
which greatly aggravated my sufferings. At Nashville I found my- 
self utterly unable to proceed, and but for the very kind hospitality 
of Brother Fite and his wife, and the medical skill of Drs. Martin 
and Maddin, must have had the attack Avhi^-ii enaued immediately 
upon getting back home. 

At midnight of May 12 1 reached home, and from that time until 
July 2G there is a perfect blank in my memory. When I became 
conscious of my condition, I was utterly prostrated in strength, my 
nervous system in great disorder, and my mind in some degree sym- 
pathizing with my physical condition. My restoration to conscious- 
ness was nearly as sudden as the attack. Friends and physicians 
gave me up. Some came from a distance to attend my burial, and 
my death was currently reported. God raised me up in answer to 
the prayers of the Church. His agents were the tenderest and best 
of nurses, who never left my bedside, and the most skillful medical 
attention by Dr. Lowe. To God be all honor and praise. To 
them, and to all who felt and prayed for me, I hereby tender my 
earnest gratitude. Throughout this whole aflliction, I have sullcrcd 
no uneasiness nor doubts as to my eternal destiny. All was calm an 1 
})eaceful. My large and helpless family and security resi^onsibilities 
alone gave me anxiety. And in addition to these, the apprehension 
that I would never be able to preach the gospel or write a line again 
caused the keenest and most depressing agony I ever felt. For I 
was told my work was done, and that if my life should be prolonged 
I could never labor again. What a privilege to preach and do good I 
I am now recovering liealth and strength, and do most devoutly re- 
consecrate myself, myall, to Him "who loved me and gave himself 
for me." I am told that my illness was typhoid fever of a severe 
form. Whatever it was, Itliar.k (lod he has brought meofi" witlioiit 
any permanent physical or mental deprivation. 



246 LIFE OF EGBERT PAINE, D.D. 



I think I have learned some important lessons. One is, that 
preachers, as well as others, should take care of their liealth, and not 
tax mind or body too heavily. 

I am anxior.s to resume my labors — tried to preach a little last 
Sunday; but my physician and friends say I must not yet fatigue 
mind or body. But I hope to be in the field again shortly, arid do 
what I can for the souls of my fellow-men. God bless the Church 
and give her great prosperity. K. Paine. 

P. S. — During my sickness and convalescence, a great many let- 
ters were received which I could not answer, and my correspondents 
will jjlease accept this explanation. 

Aberdeen, Miss., Sept. 24, 18C8. 

On Wednesday, May 13, he enters in his diary, "De- 
pressed and sick." Then he writes on July 26: "Became 
conscious. Remember no one who visited me nor any thing 
since May 14. My faithful wife nursed me all the time 
with the utmost care and tenderness. To my God I owe 
my recoyery. I deyote myself anew to his seryice." 

On September 20, Sunday, he was able to preach. His 
subject was, "The daughter of Jairus." He felt that his 
own recovery was almost as miraculous as the restoration 
of the daughter of Jairus. His talk was full of tenderness 
and gratitude. He was happy. He thanked God that he 
was able to preach again. On the first Sunday in October 
he preached for the first time in Aberdeen. On this occa- 
sion he had great liberty. He was full of the Holy Ghost. 
His subject was, "He that hath this hope purifieth him- 
self." He was at no loss for words. He seemed almost 
inspired. He had not preached with so much power for 
years. The news went through the land. He was like one 
risen from the dead. His mind seemed to have undergone 
a wonderful transformation. He united the wisdom of age 
with the vigor of youth. His old friends listened with won- 
der and admiration and great sj)iriti;al ])r()fit. Dr. J, J\ 
McFerrin said to the writer : " I have never known such a 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 247 

change; I call it a resurrection." And it was. He became 
more subjective. He testified. He "got happy," and ex- 
pressed his joy in Avell-chosen words. When the memora- 
ble 9th of Octol)er came it found him rejoicing still in 
pardoning and sustaining grace which he had enjoyed for 
fifty-one years. He never forgot that Sabbath afternoon, 
October 9, 1817, at Davis Brown's, Giles county, Tennessee, 
when he was so happily converted to God. Then on Novem- 
ber 12 he writes : " My birthday — sixty-nine. Thank God ! 
O to be thankful, holy, and useful!" The only Confer- 
ence held by him this year was the Colored Conference 
which he held in Memphis. This was before the organiza- 
tion of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. He took 
the greatest possible interest in the colored race, as he had 
done all his life, and strongly counseled their separate or- 
ganization. He was now employing all his spare time on 
the "Life of Bishop McKendree." This was with him a 
labor of love. He had been collecting and arranging ma- 
terials for years. He determined to make the work worthy 
of the man who, next to Asbury, had been the chosen in- 
strument in planting Methodism in America. That he did 
so has been the universal verdict of the readers of the "Life 
and Times of William McKendree, Bishop of the Method- 
ist Episcopal Church." Of this biography Dr. Thomas O. 
Summers says: 

"The General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, at its session in Columbus, Georgia, May, 
1854, requested Bishop Paine to write the biography of 
Bii-hop McKendree. The Conference was happy in its 
selection of a biographer of the venerable Bishop. Dr. 
Prine was for many years intimately associated with 
Bishop McKendree; he traveled with him thousands of 
miles, frequently heard him preach, assisted him in the 
preparation of his addresses to the General and Annual 



248 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

Conferences, and other important papers; lie ^vas familiar 
with all his views of the constitution and polity of the 
Methodist Episcojoal Church, and gave his cordial indorse- 
ment ; he was, though comparatively young, the particular, 
confidential friend of the Bishop, and entertained for him 
the most devoted affection and veneration and he still cher- 
ishes for his memory as a son in the gospel the most profound 
regard. He was thus eminently qualified to write his biog- 
raphy. Bishop Paine was a member of every General Con- 
ference from 1824 to 1844, at which session the Church 
was provisionally divided. He Avas consequently acquaint- 
ed with the leading men of the Church, and whose charac- 
ters are appropriately and impartially sketched in these 
volumes. In this work will be found a history of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church down to the time of the death 
of Bishop McKendree, as he was identified with its principal 
movements from the beginning. Bishop Paine has wisely 
allowed Bishop McKendree to be to a very great extent 
his own biographer, having made great use of his diary, 
journals, and other manuscripts. These extracts exhibit 
the devotion and zeal of Bishop McKendree and his asso- 
ciates. The work is thus of immense value to their successors 
in the ministry, who, it is hoped, will be stimulated by its 
perusal to reproduce the self-sacrificing spirit and labor of 
those holy men." 

A man more capable of judging of the importance 
and value of this work our Church has never produced. 
Dr. Summers was learned, impartial, just, and yet fully 
appreciative. The Bishop had not rushed this work 
through the press. He had been in no hurry. He was 
now revising and giving to the biography his last finish- 
ing touches. He had read to me portions of the work in 
1856, and would possibly have published it at an earlier 
period but for the terrible war of four years through which 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CIIUPX'II, SOUTH. 249 



we had just passed. The work ^Yas presented to the public 
in two hirge duodecimo volumes in the year 1869. In it 
the reader will lind great variety and much instruction. 
His narrative is easy, his descriptions vivid, his portraitures 
of character strikingly life-like, his spirit catholic, and his 
reflections wise and pious. We can truly say that he put 
forth his full strength as a writer on these volumes, and 
that they need no eulogy. They speak for themselves. 



250 LIFE OF ROBERT FAIXE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XXXV. 

Finishing the Life of Bishop McKendree — Hard at Work — 
Groaving Old Gracefully. 

IT Avas in the year 1869 that the Life of Bishop McKendree 
was finished. For the first three or four months the 
Bishop "svas writing most laboriously. He was so busy that 
for days and days he simply entered in his diary : " Writ- 
ing, writing." Then he determined to edit his own work. 
He staid months in Nashville superintending the publica- 
tion, and reading the proof-sheets. This kept him very busy. 
He did not forget, however, his holy calling. He Avent to 
many places in the country contiguous to Nashville and 
preached. He was often with Dr. A. L. P. Green, whose 
company he most richly enjoyed. With the ofiBcials at the 
Publishing House his intercourse AA^as exceedingly pleasant. 
Dr. A. H. Bedford, Avho Avas then the Agent, Avas kind arid 
attentive ; so that the hea\^y labor of bringing out the tAvo 
volumes Avas greatly mitigated by the social and religious 
enjoyments. He also visited many of the neighboring 
toAA'iis and preached. He Avas at Franklin, Gallatin, Pu- 
laski, RogersA^lle, and Athens, Tennessee, and at Tuscum- 
bia and Huntsville, Alabama. He also held the Tennessee 
Conference at Murfreesboro, and the Colored Conference 
at Nashville. He Avas noAV seventy yeai-s old. On the an- 
niversary of his birth he says: "My seventieth birthday. 
Thanks for so many mercies during so many years. Eter- 
nal praise to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost ! 
May my old age be holy, useful, and serene." 

He had been preaching fifty-tAVo years, and a presiding 
Bishop, traveling at large, twenty-three years. He did not 



BISHOP OF THE jNI. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 251 

become morose. He grew old beautifully. To him there 
was uo dead-line until he reached the goal. He was hope- 
ful as to the prospects of the Church and the country. Ho 
did not worry or weary his friends with bitter complaints. 
God had been merciful. The Church was appreciative and 
devoted. The preachers gave him their confidence and love. 
His family looked up to him as the grandest of men, the 
best of husbands, and the most unselfish of fathers. His 
old age was coming on, but he hardly seemed to know it. 
He was active. He sought opportunities to do good. He 
talked to the children. He held District Conferences ; took 
full work with his colleagues in attending the Annual Con- 
ferences. He Avas always and everyAvhere welcon:ie. He 
was bright. His wit was often pungent, and he would 
often indulge in innocent humor. His memory was stored 
with incidents, entertaining and "good to the use of edify- 
ing." He did not seem to be more than fifly years old. 
His step was quick, his eyes bright, his memory active, his 
voice strong and clear, and both in mind and body he 
seemed to be in the maturity of his powers. He was a 
beautiful example to preachers growing old. It is a noto- 
rious fact that old preachers often outlive their usefulness. 
They become bitter. The world is all going wrong. The 
Church is backslidden. They are not appreciated. Like 
f an old worn-out horse, they are turned out on the commons 
to die. Young men have supplanted them. Sermons that 
they once preached with great power and acceptability noAV 
fall on deaf ears, and cold and unfeeling hearts. All this 
is true, and more. But what is the cause? They are them- 
selves to blame. They fiiil because they cease to study. 
They elaborate no new sermons. They depend upon the 
old barrel which they have been turning over for a quarter 
of a centurv. Thev never look at the briu-ht side of thiuirs. 
Unfitted by long habit for any business pursuits, and unfit- 



252 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

ted by their own want of study for giving interest to the 
"old, old story," they spend their time in looking after 
evils, in hunting up troul)le, in anticipating ruin to the 
Church, in finding fault with the young, in fretting and 
scolding, and thus have themselves alone to reproach for 
their present sad condition. Because of these facts there is 
a dead-line, and few pass over it and retain their vigor, their 
acceptability, and their usefulness. Said an excellent man 
to me: "I don't know wdiat is to become of us. The peo- 
ple in this country do not wish to hear a man preach who 
has passed his fiftieth birthday. After that we have to be 
laid on the shelf" Why is this? It is not true of the 
learned professions. A doctor or lawyer is in his prime at 
fifty. The most of the judges of our high courts are se- 
lected because of their age and experience, and not because 
of their youthful vigor. Lawyers and doctors do not think 
of retiring from practice, nor does their practice leave them 
because of their infirmities of old age, Avhen the light burden 
of only fifty years is upon them. At the age of seventy 
Bishoj) Paine did not think of laying off the harness. His 
seventieth year was one of the most active of his active life. 
He was writing, correcting proof-sheets, traveling, presiding, 
making aj^pointments, and preaching the word. His preach- 
ing was never more acceptable or more powerful. Since his 
long sickness his mind seemed to have undergone a radical 
change. He had no lack of words, choice and expressive. 
He seldom made a failure. He had his subjects always 
well in hand. Instead of crossing a dead-line, he seemed 
to have passed into a world of greater life. His imagina- 
tion was more regular, and its creations were of the highest 
order of poetic thought. His words came unbidden. His 
passion glowed. His preaching was full of rich experience. 
It was more subjective. It welled up from a heart full of 
love and strong faith. In social life he ])ecamc, if possible, 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CJTURCIT, SOUTH. 253 

still more attractive than he had ever been. His freedom 
from all asperity, his playful and yet innocent mirth, his 
entire freedom from sour godliness, and all this sustained by 
a character of spotless purity, upon which the flight of sev- 
enty years had left not one stain, made him the welcome 
guest in all refined religious circles and the beloved Bishop 
at all our Conferences. 

From Kashville, after passing a short time at his home 
in Aberdeen, he attended and held the Montgomery Con- 
ference at Union Springs, and the Mobile Conference at 
Selma. In going from Union Springs to Selma he slept on 
the cabin floor of the boat on which he took passage. At 
the Montgomery Conference he had a delightful home in 
the family of Col. R. H. Powell, and at Selma he was with 
the family of Col. William McKendree Byrd, his old pupil 
and warm friend. I have had occasion to refer to this dis- 
tinguished pupil of his in another chapter. He had all the 
elements of a great man. He was a distinguished lawyer 
and jurist. He Avas a brave, patient, humble, liberal, faith- 
ful Christian. A few years after this Conference he was 
suddenly killed by a railroad accident, just as he was re- 
turning from a mission of peace. His noble life, thus closed 
in the midst of extensive usefulness, was an undying testi- 
mony in favor of our holy religion, which he had illustrated 
from his boyhood. In this pleasant family, and with this 
devoted friend, his days at the Mobile Conference passed 
most happily. He closed the Conference late in December, 
18G9, having thus finished a year of constant labor, almost 
without any rest at all, and yet with much less sufiering 
than in former years, and with great satisfaction to himself 
and much profit to the Church. 



254 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XXXVl. 

Working Like a Young Man. 

THE year 1870 brought with it many cares, and more 
than the usual amount of Church business. While at 
home he had but little rest. He was settling debts con- 
tracted only as security for others. 

Debt was to him a terrible nightmare. He loathed it. 
He had always tried to obey the apostolic injunction, "Owe 
no man any thing." His own private matters were always 
kept in the most systematic manner, and so as never to in- 
volve himself or others. He placed his name on paper for 
the benefit of dear friends, and of course suffered for it. 
The first part of the year was crowded with many annoy- 
ances which kept him very busy in attending to temporal 
affairs. 

The sixth General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, was organized by him in the city of ]\Iem- 
phis on May 4. All the Bishops were present except Bishop 
Early, who was sick at his home in Lynchburg, Va. Bishop 
Andrew was there, but too feeble to perform any work. He 
never appeared more saintly, and never breathed a sweeter 
sjjirit. But he was not able to preside in Conference, or 
even to meet in the councils of the Bishops. His feeble 
frame showed the marks of decay and the near approach of 
the last messenger. His presence, however, was a benedic- 
tion to all. Bishop Paine had prejiared the Bishops' Ad- 
dress, which was read to the Conference by Bishop AVight- 
man. It was highly commended by many of the first men 
in the Conference as an able State paper. It heartily rec- 
onmiended a training-school for preachers, which elicited 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 255 

some oppositiou. This, however, was conipi'oiiiiscd, and no 
other thau the most charitable aud Christian spirit was ex- 
hibited. I have said that while Bishop Paine was cautious 
and conservative, he was also progressive. He was ever 
abreast with the age in advocating high culture for men and 
women, and for ministers especially. He held to all the old 
landmarks, as to the doctrines and discipline of the Church. 
He opposed all inroads upon strict, old-fashioned Methodism 
whenever and wherever such inroads lessened piety and 
caused a departure from those doctrines wdiich have ever 
been regarded as vital to Methodism. He opposed false 
doctrines, sinful amusements, indulgence in any of the forms 
of fashionable vice, with all the earnestness of a Wesley, and 
with a zeal that did not abate to his dying-day. 

At this General Conference, John Christian Keener, D.D., 
"was elected and ordained Bishop. He was taken from the 
ranks, for although he had been editor of the Xeiv Orleans 
Christian Advocate, he had performed that work in connec- 
tion with some pastoral labor. He was a fine writer. His 
l^roductions were always marked by originality and strength. 
He was a sound theologian and a good preacher. He had 
made his mark broad and dee^j ai a Christian minister in 
Kew Orleans. He loved the Church, and was ready to 
make any sacrifice for her interests. He was of course wel- 
comed by the Board of Bishops and by the Church at 
larore. He has been faithful to all the interests committed 
to his hands. 

After the Memphis Conference, Bishop Paine was largely 
engaged during the summer in attending District Confer- 
ences. At Athens, Florence, and Maysville, Alabama; at 
Sharon, Starkville, Holly Springs, Sardis, and Oakland, 
Mississippi ; and at a country church some thirty miles from 
Memphis, Tenn., he conducted District Conferences. He 
went directly from these Conferences to Louisville, Ky., 



25G LIFE OF ROBERT PAIXE, D.D. 

and preached in Broadway and Walnut Street Methodist 
churches. Both of the sermons were of hig-h order. 

He held the Kentucky Conference at Covington, and 
returned to Louisville, where he presided over the Colored 
Conference. Thence he went to the little town of Sonera, 
and preached and gave large assistance to the preacher in 
a revival which was going on. 

From Sonora to Greensburg, the seat of the Louisville 
Conference, he went with other preachers in an open wagon, 
and through quite a rain-fall. 

, He was near seventy-one years old. At this Conference 
I was his room-mate. During the whole Conference he did 
not retire for rest before twelve o'clock at night. I said to 
him : " Bishop, this will not do ; you will kill yourself." 
He replied : " I am obliged to do this work. It cannot be 
postponed. It is work in connection with this Conference, 
and must be done before reading out the aj^pointments." 

He was greatly troubled during the Conference, not 
merely by official labors, but by terrible charges of immo- 
rality against a j^rominent preacher. He was grieved be- 
yond measure, and during the few hours he was in bed he 
gave more time to anxious thought and earnest prayer than 
to sleep, which he needed so greatly. Yet the elegant fam- 
ily with which we were domiciled knew nothing of his 
troubles or his labors. He was bright and cheerful in their 
presence. His stay with them was a benediction. It was at 
this Conference he preached on " The temptation of Christ." 
It was one of the greatest efforts of his life, and has been 
seldom excelled by any preacher in any period of the 
Church. The conflict between Christ and Satan was por- 
trayed with wonderful vividness. The persevering efli-ont- 
ery of Satan, his repeated and cunning attacks, and the 
final triumphs of the Master, were so painted that we could 
almost see the battle as it raged in the desert. He con- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 257 



trasted most vividly the temptation in the garden of Jvlen 
and this one amid tlie jagged rocks and barren sands of 
the desert. The first Adam was conqnered, but the last 
Adam, weary and worn, and in solitude where no flowers 
bloomed, gained a victory whose glorious preans have echoed 
alons: the ao-es and would continue to sound forever. Then 
his representation of the angel that came to minister to 
the exhausted Son of God was one of the highest eflbrts of 
a sanctified imagination. AVe could almost see the shim- 
mer and hear the rustle of their wings as they came in 
troops to minister unto him. I wondered how he would 
descend from so lofty a flight. But he came down so 
gracefully as to cause a shower of tears and a burst of holy, 
emotion from the preachers rarely equaled. When he had 
us all raised to the highest pitch of excitement and won- 
der, he suddenly paused, and with child-like simplicity added : 
" Brethren, I have always thought that if I had been among 
the angels I would have tried to get there first." We all felt 
first, yes, first — first among the angels to get close to Christ. 

After a short visit to his home, he left in November for 
Gadsden, the seat of the North Alabama Conference. Bish- 
op McTyeire was with him, and gave him valuable assist- 
ance. The weather was delightful, and the brethren as 
genisil as the weather. The session was one of the most 
pleasant he had ever enjoyed. Dr. J. G. Wilson was the 
Secretary, and of course did his work well. A good Con- 
ference Secretary is a wonderful help to the presiding offi- 
cer. Dr. Wilson had all the intelligence, the precision, the 
patience, and the energy to qualify him for the responsible 
position to which his brethren called him. He was then 
actively engaged in the cause of education as the President 
of the Huntsville Female College. He has been for the 
last eight or ten years in charge of most important work 
in the city of St. Louis. 
17 



258 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

At the close of this year the Bishop organized the Col- 
ored Methodist Episcopal Church of America at Jackson, 
Tenn. That is to say, he presided at their first General 
Conference, and with the assistance of Bishop ^IcTyeire, 
Dr. A. L. P. Green, and a few others, set oif this Church 
fjom the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and ordained 
W. H. Miles and J. H. Yanderhorst Bishops. 

During the yeai- he had to record the death of the Rev. 
William McMahon, the last member belonging to the Ten- 
nessee Conference in 1818, when Robert Paine was ad- 
mitted on trial. His death left him the only man of all 
who were connected with the Conference in 1818. All the 
rest had been called home. 

I beg the reader to review for a moment this one chap- 
ter in the life of Bishop Paine, and see what work he did 
in these the seventy-first and seventy-second years of his 
age. He presided at two General Conferences, four or five 
Annual Conferences, and eight or ten District Conferences. 
He seemed like a man in the prime of life. The senior Bish- 
op was an example of energy the most active, and of zeal the 
most fervent. He was all sunshine in the domestic circle, 
the powerful exhorter in revivals, the man of dignity in the 
chair, and the peerless preacher in the pulpit. His mind was 
as active, his memory as retentive, his judgment as accurate, 
his counsels as wise, and his heart as genial and w^arm as ever. 
There was no " letting down " either in his efforts or his 
aspirations. His manhood — intellectual, moral, religious — 
was never greater than when he entered upon the seventy- 
second year of his noble and useful life. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 259 



1 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

Death of Bishop Andrew — Bishop Paine in Louisville. 

N February, 1871, Bishop Andrew ceased from labor, and 
entered into his eternal rest. His death left Bishop Paine 
the only survivor of the original College of Bishops who in 
1846 were placed in charge as chief pastors of the Method- 
ist Episcopal Church, South. Soule, Capers, Andrew — no- 
ble, gifted, pious, apostolic men every one of them — had been 
called from the Church militant to the Church triumphant. 
To fill the places occupied by them Avere Wightman, Dog- 
gett, IMarvin, McTyeire, and Keener, who had l)een elected 
and ordained since 1865. Then he had with him Bishops 
Pierce and Kavanaugh, Avho had been his colleagues since 
1854. Thus had the growth of Southern Methodism de- 
manded increase in the general superintendency. In less 
than a quarter of a century its progress had been such as 
to demand the doubling of the episcopal forces. The death 
of Bishop Andrew was not unexpected. He had been un- 
able to do effective work for five years, and was himself in 
daily expectation of his call to other and brighter fields. 
He died universally loved and regretted. The Board of 
Bishops met in May in Nashville, and held suitable memo- 
rial-services in honor of their departed brother. Bishop 
Pierce^ delivered the sermon in McKendree Church. He 
almost felt as if he was delivering the funeral-oration over 
his own father, so dear was Bishop Andrew to him. Im- 
mediately after the meeting in Nashville, Tenn., Bishop 

* While these pages are passing through the press, tlie sad intel- 
ligence reaches us of the death of Bishop Pierce, at Sunshine, near 
Sparta, Ga. 



260 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

Paine came to Louisville, accompanied by his accomplished 
daughter, Miss Ludie, now the Avife of Rev. John H. Scruggs. 
They were the welcome guests of his old pupil, the present 
writer. The District Conference was held in Louisville, 
Ky. Bishop Paine presided to the satisfaction and i:>roiit 
of all. 

We had at that time an association of young men con- 
nected with the Broadway Church. It was called the " Band 
of Brothers." By invitation the Bishop attended a meeting 
and delivered a lecture, which so pleased the band that they 
insisted on his delivering an address in the main auditorium 
of the church, and that a general invitation be extended to 
the people to come and hear it. He partially consented to 
do this. Upon the strength of the partial promise, the ap- 
pointment was made. It was during the session of the Dis- 
trict Conference, which was being held at another church. 
Brother Brush, the excellent presiding elder, suggested to 
the Bishop that for him to lecture at Broadway while the 
session was being held at another church might work harm. 
It might arouse unkind feelings between the churches. At 
once the Bishop declined delivering the lecture. He would 
never under any circumstances be the cause of strife in the 
Church of Christ. He must be and he would be the pro- 
moter of peace. The disappointment was great. A lect- 
ure, however, was delivered by another party. I pitied the 
substitute, but the Spirit rested upon him, and he delivered 
about the best talk of his life. The speaker soon forgot his 
embarrassment, and made an eifective a})peal in behalf of 
truth and virtue and of the claims of the Band of Brothers. 

I have before referred to Bishop Paine's intense love 
for the Church. It was a deep, enthusiastic passion in 
him. It glowed and thrilled through his great soul like 
a spiritual flame. It knew no abatement during his whole 
life. He loved young men, and was anxious to make the 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 261 

address for whicli the call had been so earnest and entirely 
unaninions. But when the presiding elder suggested that 
liarni might come to the Church, he positively declined. 

During the whole of this year he continued to travel and 
attend to all the duties of a chief pastor. He preached. 
He baptized. He instructed seekers of religion. He la- 
bored incessantly from the Mississippi to the Atlantic, and 
from the Ohio to the Gulf He attended the Eastern Con- 
ferences, and was at Lynchburg, Richmond, Norfolk, Ports- 
mouth, in Virginia ; at Raleigh and Charlotte, North Caro- 
lina; at Spartanburg and Columbia, South Carolina — in all 
of which places he preached. He was also preaching and 
holding District Conferences at different points in Tennes- 
see and Alabama. He held one at Tuscaloosa. This city 
was a very small village in 1819 when he was the circuit 
preacher. Now it was a thriving and beautiful city, the 
seat of the State University, and the home of refinement 
and hospitality. In 1819 he had gone from the village of 
Tuscaloosa into the Choctaw Nation of Indians, then occu- 
pying the borders of the State, for the purpose of forming 
a mission. Now the Indians had all been removed to the 
west of the " Great Father of Waters," and he had visited 
them often and endeavored not only to preach to them but 
to do all a Bishop could to advance their spiritual interests. 



262 LIFE OF ROBERT RAIXE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XXXVill. 

Central University. 

EARLY in the year 1872 an educational convention ^vas 
held at Memphis, Tenn., which was attended hy the 
Bishop. The object of this convention Vvas to adopt some 
plan by which a great central university could be established 
at some place in the South. It was attended by many of our 
progressive men, both from the clergy and laity. Conspic- 
uous among the laymen was Judge Milton Brown, of Jack- 
son, Tenn. Bishop Paine had been in the front for nearly 
fifty years as an educator. He was one of the founders of 
La Grange College, and had presided over it for nearly six- 
teen years. He was present at the birth of the Southern 
University at Greensboro, Ala., and was the President of 
its Board of Trustees. It would not do for the old man, 
pressed as he was with the "care of all the churches" and 
with private business, to be absent from this most important 
educational convention held since the war. All our insti- 
tutions of learning had been crippled, and some of them 
had been destroyed, by the war and its terrible results. At 
the convention in Memphis it was determined to raise a 
million of dollars, and to establish a university with a the- 
ological department as an integral part. The wise and true 
men of this convention did not locate their great university. 
They did not know from what source the money was to come, 
but they had faith in God and in their great cause. 

It will be seen after awhile how and from whence the 
money came, and it will also be seen that the Bishop was 
present when the foundation-stone was laid, and assisted in 
the ceremonies. In March of this year, the Baltimore Con- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 263 

ference held its session at Warrenton, Va. Bishop Paine 
■was to preside, and on his way passed tliroiigh Lynchburg, 
and had an interview with his venerable collcagne Bishop 
Early, who was rapidly declining. He found his dear old 
friend calm and trustful, ready to depart and be with Christ. 
He also stopped at Washington City, and preached in Mount 
Vernon Place Church. Congress was in session, and he 
saw and heard some of the great men of the nation. 

On his way home from the Baltimore Conference, he 
stopped at Corinth, Miss., and assisted in the quarterly- 
meeting services then going on. He preached on "There 
is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner 
that repenteth." "Joy everywhere," said the Bishop, " ex- 
cept among the wicked on earth and the devils in hell." 

He had a pleasant call in April to officiate in tlie marriage 
of Ellen Virginia Saunders, the daughter of his old friend 
Col. James E. Saunders, to Mr. INIcFarland. It was to him 
and his old friends Col. and Mrs. Saunders a most delight- 
ful reunion. These were friends true and tried. They loved 
each other with a tenderness and warmth such as existed be- 
tween David and Jonathan. Two men never agreed better 
than Bishop Robert Paine and Col. James E. Saunders. 
For more than half a century they were like brothers. 
Their high culture, their genial, social feelings, their rich 
experience in divine things, their common struggles in the 
cause of religious education, and the similarity of their views 
on nearly all great matters relating to Church or State, fitted 
them for mutual companionship and united them together 
as by hooks of steel. The wife of Col. Saunders was also 
a great favorite with the Bishop, and he really looked uj^on 
them as brother and sister. (Col. Saunders was a step- 
brother of the Bishop's wife.) 

Soon after this pleasant visit to his old Alabama friends 
he commenced his work on the District Conferences. After 



264 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

holding three of these, he went to the Bishops' meeting in 
Nashville, Tenn. The Bishops harmonized on the location 
of the great Central University. After leaving Nashville 
he stopped in Giles county, and held a District Conference. 
It was a joy to him to be among the hills of old Giles coun- 
ty again. The Conference was held among the hills on 
Bradshaw^'s Creek. He had to ride on horseback, but he 
was glad to do that. It reminded him of 1817. He met 
with the Abernathys, Browns, Ballentines, Howells, ]\Iar- 
tins, and others, whose families had known him in his boy- 
hood. Here his father had lived and been honored and 
loved. Here many of his loved ones were buried. But 
few Avere now living who were men and women when he 
left his home for the life of an itinerant preacher. Some 
of his old pupils were there to remind him of his labors 
at La Grange College. He continued at such work all 
through the summer. In Tennessee, Alabama, and JMissis- 
sippi he was traveling, presiding, preaching. At Athens 
and Huntsville, Ala., at Union City and Dresden, Tenn., 
and at Friar's Point and Greenville, Miss., he held these 
Conferences, as also at other places. But I mention these 
to shoAV the extent of his travels. He was all over AVest 
Tennessee, North Alabama, and a large j^ortion of Missis- 
sippi. He preached on every Sabbath and often during 
the week. The summer was intensely hot, the thermome- 
ter reaching 98, but he did not stop, although often much 
exhausted by his labors and at times suffering with rheuma- 
tism. In November he held the Virginia Conference. On 
his way to Petersburg, he stopped again to see Bishop Ear- 
ly, whom he found rapidly failing. The old soldier was 
ready to excliange the cross for the crown. He sto])pcd in 
Washington City, and also at Baltimore, preaching in Trin- 
ity Church. He says' the sermon was too long, and that it 
lacked simplicity. I have no means of knowing how it 



lilSIIOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 205 

was regarded by the very lui'ge congregation that listened 
to it. 

The Virginia Conference was held in Washington Street 
Church, Petersburg. ^lany sacred memories crowded upon 
the Bishop. Here, with AVilliam Capers, he was ordained 
by Bishops Soule and Andrew to the office of Bishop in the 
Church of God. Of these all were gone but himself. After 
the close of the Virginia Conference he went immediately to 
Fayetteville, Xorth Carolina, and held that Conference. 

Without a day's rest, after all the fatigue and labor of an 
Annual Conference, he hurried on to Anderson, South Car- 
olina, the seat of the South Carolina Conference. He had 
been detained by snow on the track, and did not arrive at 
Anderson until after the organization of the Conference. 
He immediately took the chair and conducted the Confer- 
ence through its business to the close. There is no labor 
more trying on a man of heart, as was Bishop Paine, than 
the work of a Methodist Annual Conference. For hours 
he has to occupy the chair, keep order, decide upon ques- 
tions of lavr, etc. Then at night with his cabinet he must 
look over the entire work and examine impartially the fit- 
ness of each preacher for any work for ^vliicli he may be 
nominated. Then there are difficult questions to be solved, 
hard cases to determine. All these tend to wear out the 
constitution of a Bishop, who has to assume the whole re- 
sponsil)ility for every appointment. Our Bishop was now 
seventy-three years old, and if he was not abundant in la- 
bors, then was Paul himself an idler in his Master's vine- 
yard. He was fulfilling his vows and going all tlie time. 
That is the glory of jNIethodism. It goes. The ins})iring 
word which moves the whole moral machinery of the Churcli 
is go. To the insj:)iration of that one short word does Meth- 
odism owe much of its power and its wonderful success at 
hoine and abroad. 



266 LIFE OF ROBEPvT PAINE, D.D. 

The year 1873 was saddened at the beginning by the death 
of Dr. W. A. Sykes, of Aberdeen, Miss. He had been the 
life-long friend of the Bishop. For nearly fifty years they 
had enjoyed each other's confidence and love. He was a 
Christian gentleman of great moral worth, and his death was 
a source of grief to the Bishop as well as to his own family. 
He felt that he was losing a brother beloved. He preached 
the funeral-sermon on the text, " If a man die, shall he live 
again?" The doctrine of the immortality of the soul is 
one very dear to all followers of Christ. In this is seen the 
dignity of human nature, and upon it is predicated the pre- 
ciousness of redemption. Man is immortal, and as closely 
allied to angels as he is to earth and worms. He shall 
live again. This was the inspiring theme of that funeral- 
sermon over the dust of a dearly loved friend. Then 
Dr. Sykes had died in the faith, and the reunion of these 
friends of each other and friends of Christ was assured. 
How gloriously beautiful is our holy religion ! Its beauty 
never shines with a more inspiring radiance than amid the 
darkness and sorrow of death. Then it not only softens 
sorrow, but absolutely hushes the sighs and wipes away the 
tears of grief amid hopes which death itself cannot dispel. 
AYhile this religion gave the preacher comfort, it enabled 
him to speak words of consolation to the sorrowing family 
of his old friend. 

As we proceed with the history of Bishop Paine we are 
astonished at two things: First, his ability to work. He 
was now in his seventy-fourth year, and yet he continued 
to do full work. Secondly, we are equally astonished at 
his capacity to endure. He was most severely attacked 
with inflammatory rheumatism on February 10, after great 
exposure in attending the funeral of a friend who had died 
some distance from Aberdeen, and wliither he liad to go on 
horseback. He was closely confined with this terrible mal- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 207 

ady until the lltli of April, exactly two months. The most 
excruciating agony of these two months no one ever knew. 
He bore as patiently as he labored actively. He suffered 
with resignation and with hope. He was so much improved 
in A2:)ril that he took a ride, and made this note in his diary : 
*' My ankles and wrists still suffering. Thank God for the 
prospect of getting well and doing service again ! " 

The Bishops' meeting called him to Nashville in May, 
while still suffering from a horrid cough, which had fol- 
lowed and accompanied the severe attack of rheumatism. 
This Avas an important meeting, as besides the ordinary bus- 
iness the Yauderbilt University was to be located. 

Through the personal though silent influence of Bishop 
McTyeire, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt had determined 
to make a large donation to establish a great university in 
the South, and not far from Nashville, Tenn. In vicAv of 
the great liberality of the wealthy New Yorker, the Central 
University was merged into this institution, and in honor of 
the generous founder it was to be called by his name. At 
the meeting of the Bishoj)s, May 8, 1873, .the Vanderbilt 
University Avas located at the West End of the city of 
Nashville, where it now stands "a sublime pile," eliciting 
the admiration of a grateful Church. Nothing in the his- 
tory of education as connected with Methodism had so grat- 
ified the Bishop as the founding of this great university. 
None of our institutions had been so richly endowed as was 
necessary to jtiut them in the front rank. Now, he felt, we 
will have what had long been the desire of his heart. He 
had labored and groaned over a college without endowment 
for nearly twenty years, and had given to it the best years 
of his mature manhood. He had lived to see the institution 
pass into the control of the State and become the Normal 
College of Alabama. Over two hundred thousand dollars 
of endowment had been swept from the Southern Univer- 



268 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

sity by the disasters of war. And although the institution 
was still struggling, he had but little hope of seeing it pros- 
perous in his day. So it Avas with most of our Methodist 
colleges. In Alabama alone two had been lost to the 
\ Church and given to the State because of the impoverished 
\ condition of the country and the loss of the endowments in 
'both instances. The college which he had founded, labored 
for, and loved lost more than fifty thousand dollars; and 
the one at Auburn, in East Alabama, had lost one hundred 
thousand dollars, and had been made the Agricultural and 
Mechanical College of Alabama. No one man rejoiced 
more over the magnificent gift of Mr. Vanderbilt. He felt 
that the success of Bishop McTyeire was his. He felt that 
now^ the Church would have a university worthy the name. 
As he took in the grand view from the site selected, his soul 
exulted at the prospect of an advance in Church education 
such as he had hardly hoj^ed to witness. It must have been 
a gratification beyond expression to Bishop McTyeire when 
he saw his veteran colleague taking an interest so profound 
in the success of an enterprise which lay so near his OAvn 
heart, and which he hoped was now almost assured. 

In company with Dr. Summers, he vrent to the Sharon 
District Conference at Beth2)hage, Tennessee. He enjoyed 
the hospitality of his old Tennessee friends very much. He 
was pleased with the spirit of the preachers and the religious 
power of the pe()j)le. It was a time of refreshing from the 
presence of the Lord. After the District Conference Avas 
over, at which he had presided and preached to the edifica- 
tion of all, he returned to his home just in time to be at the 
funeral of Senator Phelan. The Senator's wife, wdiose death 
has been referred to in these pages, had been a deeply pious 
Christian. The Senator was also a member of the INtethod- 
ist Church, a man of large soul, and a devoted friend of the 
Bishop. He had been a member of the United States Sen- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 2G9 



ate, and Avas just iu the prime cf his manhood. Plis death 
was a loss to the Church and to the country, and Avas deeply 
felt by the Bishop. 

He continued to travel and preach and hold District Con- 
ferences all through the hot summer of 1873. He passed 
from a District Conference near Clarksville, Tenn., to Cof- 
feeville, IMiss., and at different places between these tAvo 
points he was at camp-meetings, quarterly-meetings, and 
country churches, preaching like a young man. On Fri- 
day, November 7, he records the death of another of his 
colleagues, Bishop John Early. He had enjoyed sweet 
communion with his venerable brother twice during his 
long confinement. He had found him resigned and ready, 
and his death was not unexpected. Thus had he seen four 
of his colleagues pass from the College of Bishops on earth 
to the society of apostles and martyrs in heaven. Bishop 
Early was in his eighty-eighth year, and had been on the 
retired list since 1S;)(3. Sometimes abrupt and apparently 
arbitrary, he was always true. He loved the cause of Christ 
above all things else, and had been consecrated to it nearly 
all his long life. Bishop Paine preached his funeral-sermon 
in Aberdeen, on Sunday, the 16th of November. He held 
the North Mississippi Conference at Grenada, the North 
Georgia at Newnan, Ga., and the South Georgia Confer- 
ence at Macon. 

During this tour of Conferences he passed into his seven- 
ty-fifth year. He makes his usual record of gratitude to 
God for his numerous mercies. Although it had been a 
year of great and constant labor, and for months of very 
great suffering, he forgets both in the grateful recollection 
of so many mercies and blessings bestowed. So he contin- 
ued to grow old gracefully, possessing none of the bitterness 
which, alas! too frequently is characteristic of old age. He 
had labored much, suffered much, and enjoyed more. His 



270 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

spirits Avere still cheerful, and he rejoiced that there was a 
bright side to human life on which he loved to look. Ho 
was no croaker, no chronic complainer. God was good; 
the Church was loving; his children were devoted; and 
above all else of a mere earthly nature, he had been blessed 
for more than the third of a century with the tenderest love 
of a pure Christian wife. For all these, and for the success 
of the ministry and the growth of the Church, he was abun- 
dantly thankful. 

With such an example before us as was Bishop Paine, let 
the preachers of this day look up and be thankful. Let 
them exhaust the blue of the sky, the green of the earth, 
the beauties of nature, and the j^ower of divine grace, before 
they make themselves the terror of others by croaking worse 
than the ravens, or by complaints harsher than the cry of the 
bittern. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 271 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

Inner Life— Vanderbilt University— General Conference. 

THE inner life of the best men is sometimes concealed 
from their most intimate friends. They are not dem- 
onstrative. They do not care to obtrude their secret 
communings ^vith God before the public. These feelings 
are so sacred that they are ^vithheld from the public gaze. 
I am sure that those on the most intimate terms Avith Bish- 
op Paine Avere not made acquainted with the depth and fer- 
vor of his religious feelings. He kept them to himself. His 
brief entries in his diary often shoAV us what Avas not known 
during his life. 

On January 1, 1874, he writes: "Thank my God for all 
the mercies to me and mine of the past year. I renew my 
vows of consecration. Make me holy, useful, and patient. 
Save me from sin, death, and debt this year— myself and 
family." These vows of consecration were being constantly 
renewed. It was his invariable habit during his long life on 
the 1st of January, the 9th of October, and the 12th of No- 
vember to reconsecrate himself in the most humble and sol- 
emn manner to the service of God. He did this not merely 
as a matter of duty, but as a high privilege. Gratitude for 
God's special care of him and his is ever seen mingling with 
the vow of renewed devotion to his holy cause. 

On January 14, 1874, the Board of Trust of Vanderbilt 
University met in Memphis, Tenn. Bishop Paine was pres- 
ent, greatly to the satisfaction of the Board. At this meet- 
ing Dr. L. C. Garland was chosen Chancellor. Drs. Sum- 
mers, Shipp, Wills, and Lupton were also appointed to 



272 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

prominent places in the Faculty. It was also determined 
that on January 15, 1875, the university should open its 
doors for the reception of students. The Board continued 
in session for some days, and had no wiser or more efficient 
member than was their ever-faithful friend to education. 
He rejoiced with exceeding great joy as the prospect of a 
university of the highest order seemed now certain of reali- 
zation — that too during his own day. He had no misgivings 
as to a theological department. He felt that the time had 
come in the history of ]\Iethodism when candidates for the 
ministry should have all the advantages of a thorough the- 
ological education. 

On the 21st of February his heart was made glad by the 
return of his son John Emory, who had graduated with the 
highest honors at the Medical University of New York. He 
had taken the first prize, and this added to the gratification 
of his venerable father. His son George was in the senior 
class at the University of Mississippi, and received the de- 
gree of A.B. at its annual commencement in the summer. 
Both of these events were noted Avith great satisfaction. It 
was indeed cause for thanksgiving. These were noble sons, 
worthy of their father. Both had distinguished themselves 
in their classes, and both were vouniz; g-entlemen of hiirh 
moral character. 

On his Avay to the General Conference in Louisville he 
stopped for a few days with his old pupils in Florence, Ala. 
He was renewing his youth with such men as Judge W. B. 
Wood, Gov. E. A. O'Neal, and Judge H. E. Jones. They 
had been his pupils more than thirty-five years before, and 
^\Gre men of the highest position, and were ever ready for 
every good word and work in Church and in the State of 
which O'Neal became Governor and in which both Jones 
and Wood were prominent and distinguished citizens, hold- 
ing high offices of both lionor nnd trust. It was not often 



msiiop OF Tin: m. e. church, south. 273 

that the Bisliop during his whole career stopped by the way 
as a mere matter of social enjoyment with old pupils. 

From Florence he went to Nashville to attend the cere- 
monies of laying the corner-stone of the great university. 
He was a prominent and gratified actor in these ceremonies, 
and showed much more feeling than he was accustomed to do. 

At the General Conference, held in Louisville, May, 
1874, he was placed in the excellent family of Hon. T. 
L. Jefferson. His stay was a benediction to the whole 
family. He has been remembered ever since with the 
most cordial affection. His presence did not bring gloom, 
but sunshine. His company was attractive, and noth- 
ing either in his manners or in his words was in the least 
repulsive. He was still the Christian gentleman, as well 
as tlie Christian Bishop. He presided often during the 
General Conference, and always with satisfaction. The Con- 
ference was a deeply interesting one to our common Method- 
ism. It received fraternal delegates from the INIethodist 
Episcopal Church for the first time since the organization 
of the Church in 1845. That was no fault of the Church, 
South. A fraternal delegate sent by the Southern Church 
had been rejected in 1848. It was a wonderful fact that 
Dr. Lovick Pierce, the rejected delegate of 1848, was on 
the platform in 1874. He was then possibly the oldest 
Methodist preacher on the continent. It must have been 
a gratification beyond measure to the Christian heart of 
this veteran of ninety years to witness these fraternal greet- 
ings. They were just such as reflected glory and honor 
upon our holy religion and upon the eloquent men who 
represented the Methodist Episcopal Church on that mem- 
orable occasion. Bishop Paine as the senior Bishop might 
have presided on that occasion, but he did not. His mag- 
nanimity urged him to put forward his colleague, Bishop 
McTyeire, who had given him such prominence at the in- 
18 



274 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



auguratiDg ceremonies of the Vanderbilt. Bishop Paine 
was never to be outdone in magnanimity. He modestly 
sat back on the platform, and ^vitnessed such exhibitions of 
Christian love as can never be foro-otten. It was durino- 
these greetings that Dr. Hunt, one of the fraternal messen- 
gers, read an autograph letter from the father of American 
Methodism, Bishop Asbury. The letter had all the marks 
of age. It was evidently genuine, and had been kept by 
some loving old Methodist as a souvenir of great value. 
After reading it, the Doctor turned with infinite grace, and 
with the tenderest Christian feelings presented the letter as 
a gift to the venerable Dr. Lovick Pierce, and accompanied 
the present with such words as moved the whole audience. 
Bishop McTyeire replied in the happiest spirit and style to 
the words of love which had been uttered by Drs. Hunt, 
Fowler, and General Fisk, and the fraternal messengers. 
He then said : " Brethren, if it please you it will gratify us 
that you take your place on the platform and feel perfectly 
at home with these representatives of the Church, South." 
Thus ended one of the most interesting and important 
events in the history of Methodism. During this General 
Conference there were several Sunday-school mass-meetings 
held in Library Hall, and attended by immense audiences. 
Bishop Paine notes his presiding at one "at which there 
were four thousand persons present." Dr. A. L. P. Green 
made his last Sabbath-school address at this meeting. He 
was very feeble and much worn down with the malady 
which closed his useful life. He was bright and cheerful, 
and made one of the best addresses ever delivered on such 
an occasion. The speech was so bright and cheerful, so ai> 
propriate to children, and so instructive to all, that no one 
dreamed of the great suffering of the speaker or of his near- 
ness to the grave. In a day or two he went home to die. 
In his deatli Bishop Paine felt that he had met with a great 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 275 

persoDal loss. They had been friends for more than half 
a century. During all this time their devotion to each 
other had been the purest and strongest, and had increased 
Avith their years. 

During this same Conference the Rev. Fountain E.Pitts, 
another of the Bishop's Tennessee Conference friends, true 
and tried, was also called to his " eternal home." The Bishop 
participated in his memorial-services, and delivered on the 
occasion a brief but eloquent and appropriate address. 

Before the close of the year the Tennessee Conference lost 
another distinguished member who was also one of the Bish- 
op's early friends. A jDurer man never lived than was the 
Rev. Thomas Maddin. He was the highly cultivated Chris- 
tian gentleman, and the humble Christian with a character 
faithfully modeled after Him whom he preached with so 
much eloquence and success for so many years. Thus were 
going nearly all those who were the companions-in-arms with 
Robert Paine when he wielded the sword of the Spirit with 
such vigor in his young manhood. Of all these. Dr. A. L. 
P. Green was the most intimate friend of the Bishop. " Wise, 
unselfish, devoted," are the adjectives which he applies to 
him, and calls him his most intimate friend on earth. 



276 LIFE OF r.OBERT TAINE, D.B. 



CHAPTER XL. 

Sevexty-fiftit Axni VErvSARY — Domestic Afflictions — IlErtOic 
Devotion to Duty. 

AFTER holding many District Conferences, preaching 
^vheneve^ opportunity offered, ordaining and baptizing, 
during the summer of 1874, he held the Memphis Confer- 
ence at Humboldt, November 18; the Mississippi Conference 
at Hazlehurst, December 16; and this closed up the work of 
another laborious year. 

It so happened that he was at home on the seventy-fifth 
anniversary of his birth. He had been generally absent 
on the return of these anniversaries. As he was at home, 
his wife determined to give him a Christmas festival. 
This was done. The children were there. The house was 
bright. The supper was elegant. The religious services, 
conducted by Kev. William Murrah, were very appro- 
priate. All passed off just as such an occasion, under the 
management of a noble Christian woman and a true wife 
such as was ISIrs. Paine, is always sure to pass. The old 
Bishop enjoyed the day which began his seventy-sixth year 
as much as most men of fifty enjoy their birthdays. He re- 
membered the ])ast without regret; he enjoyed the present 
without any alloy of bitterness, and looked to an eternal 
future with the most joyful hope. 

The new year, 1875, found the Bishop away from home 
on Conference duties. He was on his way to Alexandria, 
La. He was much exposed on the route, and on the Sab- 
bath of the Conference he was compelled to cross Bed Biver 
in an open skiff in order to reach the church in which he 
was to i)reach and ordain deacons and elders. He became 



BISHOP OF THE .A[. K. CHURCH, SOUTH. 277 



very cold, and sufiered much while at church. In a short 
time he felt the beginning of the distressing niahidy which, 
alter years of suffering, finally terminated his life. He 
ought to have rested this whole year, but he did not. He 
was determined to die on the field. During the year he 
presided at District Conferences in Tennessee and Missis- 
sippi, and preached whenever opportunity afforded and as 
he was able to do so. 

He had sad domestic afflictions. A beautiful grandchild, 
bright and attractive, died at his house. The child was just 
at that interesting age when its innocent prattle and winning 
ways were so well calculated to kindle theteuderest feelings 
in the heart of the grand old man. But a still heavier sor- 
row fell upon him in the death of his son, John Emory Paine, 
]M.D. He had but recently married an accomplished wife, 
and had just entered upon a career which promised both 
usefulness and distinction. He was called at midnight to 
see a patient some six miles distant. Though very unwell, he 
went, and returned at four a.m. very ill. He never rallied. 
The Bishop was with him, and prayed with and for him. 
The yoiing man was at first much concerned, and joined his 
father in earnest prayer for his recovery and for his soul's 
salvation. He became very happy, and died in great peace 
The Bishop makes this brief entry in his diary: "AVed. lOj 
o'clock, Sept. 15, 1875, my son John Emory died, ' all bright 
and happy;' called by name all present, and said to each, 
'Promise to meet me in heaven.' They all promised. 
Sick less than three days. O what a death— so sudden, 
and yet so bright! Thank God for his grace, to renew and 
prepare for heaven. Here, Lord, I give myself to thee — 
'tis all that I can do. O Lord save my family!" The 
dear young man Avas buried on September 16. On the 17th 
of September his sorrowing fath.er was called to preach tlie 
funeral-sermon of an old friend and former pupil. Dr. T. 



278 LIFE OF ROBERT RAINE, D.D. 

A. Sykes. He did not hesitate to go. He felt that in 
comforting others he wonld be comforted. Of course it 
Avas a great cross, but "no cross no crown." None but 
those called under like circumstances to preach and admin- 
ister consolation to others can fully appreciate the position 
of the Bishop. Just turning away from the grave of a be- 
loved son who had died in the fresh vigor of young man- 
hood, and with every prospect of a successful and happy 
career before him, he is called to minister to the sorrows 
of others, and to commemorate the virtues of a deceased 
pupil. His text was: "Be ye steadfast, unmovable, always 
abounding in the work of the Lord." It enabled him to 
bring before the congregation the assurance of a glorious 
resurrection. This was comfort. This was joy. A month 
after the death of his son, we find him in K'ashville at the 
opening of the Vanderbilt University. He listened with 
great pleasure to the eloquent sermon of Bishop Doggett 
on the "Dynamics of the religion of Christ," and also to 
the learned and polished address of Bisho25 AVilliam M. 
Wightman. It was his part to address the students. He 
always loved young men. He looked now upon these, as- 
sembled from almost every Southern State, with unusual 
hope. They were to be under the instruction of the most 
accomjilished teachers, and were to have opportunities of 
culture such as had not been enjoyed before at any Meth- 
odist college. The scene inspired him, and "the old man 
eloquent" uttered such words as the good and great only 
can utter. In the opening of this great university he 
realized a "hope which had long been deferred," and re- 
joiced in its realization. He placed his youngest son in tlie 
institution, whose success he believed already assured. It 
must have been a gratification to all the friends of the uni- 
versity that in Bishop Paine it had one of its warmest and 
most enthusastic supporters. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 279 

At the close of the seventy-sixth year of his age, lie 
held three Annual Conferences, preaching and ordaining 
deacons and elders. Thus closed a year of deep family and 
personal aflliction. Yet he saw much to encourage him. 
The dark night of political misrule "was passing away 
from his beloved people. The country was progressing. 
The Church was moving forward. The educational outlook 
was more hopeful. He thanked God and took courage, 
and expressed the hope that the old flag might once more 
float over a united and happy people. 

In January, 1876, another great aflliction fell unexpect- 
edly upon the church of Aberdeen, and was most deeply 
felt by Bishop Paine. Judge John Burrus Sale died. He 
had been educated at La Grange College under the Presi- 
dency of Robert Paine. A wild boy, he had been gently 
led to Christ largely through the influence of his teachings. 
He was a man of high character and large influence. His 
talents were such rs to give him the first position at the 
bar, and his piety placed him among the foremost in the 
Church. His father, the Rev. Alexander Sale, who has 
been before mentioned in these pages, was a preacher of 
high standing in the Virginia Conference, and was one of 
the pioneer itinerant preachers in the early history of Ala- 
bama. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of La 
Grange College, and he and Bishop Paine were life-long 
and devoted friends. The son was much like his father. 
He was tall and commanding in person, and seemed destined 
to a long life. But God saw otherwise, and "took him." 
The Bishop was with him in his last sickness, and prayed 
with him, and conversed freely with him as to his future. 
All was well. He died full of the Holy Ghost and of faith. 
The Bishop says: "He was my best friend in Aberdeen." 
He was his pupil more than a third of a century before, 
and for many years had been his ncigh])or and friend 'and 



280 LIFE OF EOBEKT PAINE, D.D. 

coimselor. The Bishop preached the funeral-scrmorx of 
his old friend, and committed dust to dust until the resur- 
rection. The sermon ^vas on "Christ, the fii'st-fruits of 
them that slept." He loved more and more to dwell upon 
Christ as the resurrection and the life. The theme inspired 
and comforted him, and enabled him to speak words of con- 
solation to others. 

During the winter and spring of 1876 he remained most 
of the time at his home. He was not well. He was often 
not able to be at the church on Sabbath, and preached only 
a few times. In May, however, he determined to attend 
the Bishops' meeting at Xashville. His ever-faithful wife 
accompanied him. He was still unable to preach, and list- 
ened with pleasure to Bishop Doggett, as he preached on 
the "Progress of Methodism during the nineteenth centu- 
ry." Of all this progress he had been a witness, and for 
more than fifty years had contributed largely to it. The 
eloquent utterances of his colleague filled him with grati- 
tude as he portrayed the past, and with hope as he looked 
to the future of his beloved JMethodism. 

After the Bishops' meeting, he attended the Gallatin Dis- 
trict Conference, and preached on Sabl)ath in the open air 
to a vast concourse. His sermon was just one hour long 
on the text, "Surely this man was the Son of God." He 
then attended a District Conference near Decatur, Alabama, 
at Trinity, and preached again in the open air on the 
" Temptation of Christ." He had the pleasure of meeting 
his only living sister, Mrs. Abernathy, and of having her 
accompany him to his home in Aberdeen. These two were 
now left alone of all the brothers and sisters of that once 
large family. He continued to attend District Conferences 
and preached during the summer as he had ability. It is 
really astonishing to see what work he did. After an ex- 
hausting sermon, he writes: "I preached too long and hard. 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 281 

Would that I knew how to preach easy! Dr. Green did. 
!So do Dr. Parker and Bishop McTyeirc and Dr. Young." 
In August of this year the commissioners on the i>art of 
the two Episcopal Methodisnis in the United States met 
and agreed upon terms of fraternity. This settlement of 
great principles evoked the prayer from the Bisho]), " ^lay 
all be wise, good, perpetual. If love and peace result, what 
a blessiuo; ! " Soon after these terms were settled he attended 
the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Churcli, 
South. Here he had the pleasure of meeting with his old 
friend the Rev. Peter Akers. They exchanged fratcrmil 
greetings, and met and parted as brethren beloved-. The 
Conference was held at Jacksonville ; and when the resolu- 
tions on fraternity were presented, Dr. Akers made a ch.ar- 
acteristic speech, and all felt that the long ecclesiastical war 
was over. On his Avay home Bishop Paine received intelli- 
gence of the heroic death of Dr. E. H. Myers, one of the 
peace commissioners. He was stationed at vSavannah, 
Georgia, and upon hearing that the yellow fever Avas rag- 
ing there he at once hurried to his suffering people. x\las! 
he went as a martyr. With love in his heart and heaven in 
his eye, he rushed to his own death. On his return to his 
home, Bishop Paine found his daughter-in-law, the wife of 
his son liobert, lying at the point to die. He had with 
her an affectionate Christian talk and a humble, earnest 
prayer. She was a beautiful Christian character, and died 
in joyful hope of eternal rest. This death was followed 
very soon l)y the death of another friend and neighbor, the 
Rev. B. B. Barker, who also died in great peace. He bore 
these bereavements just as a trusting Christian always does. 
" Thy will be done." These were his words, and they ex- 
pressed fortitude, faith, resignation, and hope. All was 
well. Pie was at his post as presiding Bishop at the Ala- 
bama Conference, where he was always welcome. It was 



282 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

held this year at Demopolis. Here he met his former con- 
frere in the cause of education, Dr. Henry Tutwiler. The 
meeting of these old and true Christian gentlemen was such 
as to remind one of the meeting of loved ones in the home 
of the blessed. He ^vas able to preach and go through the 
services of ordination without any serious inconvenience. 
The Conference closed on December 12, and he left imme- 
diately for Nashville, Tennessee. The Publishing House 
was in trouble. The Bishops were to hold a consultation 
with the Book Committee, and to advise as to what was 
best to be done to relieve this great Church enterprise of 
its trouble. His love of the Church, his great caution, his 
keen foresight, and his large financial ability were all 
brought into requisition at this meeting. It was deter- 
mined to have all the affairs of the House thoroughly exam- 
ined by exj)ert3, and a full and correct statement of its con- 
dition presented to the Church. The result of all this has 
been the restoration of confidence in the House and the as- 
surance of its final relief from its difficulties and of a certain 
career of prosperity and usefulness. Thus closed the seven- 
ty-seventh year of a life of continuous labor, and the sixtieth 
of active work as an itinerant Methodist preacher. He 
had now been thirty years a Bishop, fulfilling his most sol- 
emn vows and doing the work of a chief pastor with great 
ability and enlarged usefulness. 

The winter of 1876 and 1877 was intensely severe. The 
Bishop says in his diary that the snow fell in Aberdeen to 
the depth of two feet. It was the deepest that had been 
seen for sixty years. The cold weather kept him in-doors 
most of the winter. So soon as the spring opened he began 
work Avith his usual energy. He attended District Confer- 
ences in Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ala- 
bama, and Florida. He also attended by invitation from 
Dr. D. C. Kellev tlie last communion held in the old McKen- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 283 

dree Church, at Nashville. He had witnessed the growth 
of IMethodisin for sixty years in that city. He had Ix'cn 
the pastor there in the early part of his ministry. He had 
married his first wife in Nashville, and had laid her sacred 
dust there among her kindred, to sleep in quiet until the 
resurrection. Many of his happiest days had been spent 
in Nashville, and he accepted the invitation to go hundreds 
of miles to enjoy the last communion in the house which 
had the name of McKendree, so dear to him. The old 
structure was to be torn down and a new one to be erected 
in its stead. Nearly all the old pastors who were living 
were at that last gathering. It was an occasion long to be 
remembered. A new temple was to be erected whose glory 
should far exceed the beauty of the one in which this eu- 
charistic feast was to be celebrated for the last tim.e. Bish- 
op McTyeire was there to lead in the exercises, which were 
deeply impressive, and which touched the deepest sympathies 
of his venerable colleague. He enjoyed them. He felt re- 
paid for all the fatigue of the trip. While sacred memories 
were called up, the occasion was also a prophecy. It fore- 
shadowed still greater prosperity and success to his beloved 
Methodism in this growing city. Here was the Book Con- 
cern, which, though greatly embarrassed, he hoped to see 
relieved of all its disabilities and going forward in a career 
of great usefulness to the country. Here, too, was the Van- 
derbilt. The outlook was magnificent. He was almost 
ready to say : " Now, Lord, lettest thou thy servant depart 
in peace." He was again at the Bishops' meeting in Nash- 
ville, at which initial steps were taken to raise a sum for 
the suffering Publishing House. 

During the summer he was absent a great deal. He was 
preaching with much more satisfaction to others than to 
himself After preaching at a District Conference to a 
large crowd assembled in a grove, he writes: "Preached on 



284 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. ' 

Hcb. yii. 25. Christ able to save. Poor affair. ^ly ideal 
of preaching above my practice. Wish I could preach. 
O that I could be useful, and see present fruits." To see 
fruits — present fruits — was the great desire of his heart. 
Because these fruits were not ahvavs visible, he was ijrieved. 
He loved souls. He sought to save those whom he knew were 
the redeemed by Christ. He knew there was power in the 
gospel. He felt that it ought to produce immediate and 
powerful results. 

In August he left home to attend the Kentucky Conference. 
He stopped at Louisville, and was the guest of his very true 
friend Hon. T. L. Jefferson. I happened to meet him. I 
had not seen him since the General Conference at Louis- 
ville, 1874. I could see that his powerful physical man- 
hood was giving way. His hearing was much impaired, 
and he seemed to be suffering. We spent some tv^o hours 
together. He gave me nuich good advice. He was bright 
and cheerful, and I never saw him more pleasant; yet, 
with the weight of nearly seventy-eight years upon him, he 
was beginning to show evidences of yielding. After hold- 
ing the Kentucky Conference at Winchester, he returned 
to Louisville and rested for some days at the delightful 
home of Brother Thos. L. Jefferson. He also preached on 
{^abbath at Chestnut Street Church. Here he was wel- 
comed by Dr. JNIcssick, the pastor, and his flock, Avho all 
enjoyed the ministrations of the venerable servant of God 
and the Church. He was a most welcome guest in the 
family of ^Ir. Jefferson. He had none of the moroseness 
Avhich renders old age often repulsive. He was frequently 
playful, and always agreeable. He exercised that beautiful 
grace which never behaves itself unseemly. 

After resting a short while at home, he attended the 
German Mission Conference at Houston, Texas. AVhile 
there he heard of tlie death of Bishop Marvin, three days 



BISHOP OF THE M. i:. ciinu ir, soixii. 285 

aiter its occurrence. He says: "I mourn for a collea<me 
gifted, holy, and useful." Again he enters in his diary: 
" Bishop Marvin died in St. Louis at four a.m. on November 
2G. Did not hear of it till to-day, November 29. A most 
devoted, useful, and gifted minister of Christ. A great loss 
to the Church. So very sorry to lose him! Lately round 
the Avorld. Too much work and worry for so frail a body." 
The death of Bishop IMarvin was unexpected, and fell heav- 
ily upon the whole Church. He was an evangelist. He 
was thoroughly consecrated. He never seemed to think of 
self He literally died sword in hand, "still warm with 
recent fight." His death made the sixth that had taken 
place in the Episcopal Board since Bishop Paine had been 
ordained in 1846. Soule, Capers, Andrew, Bascom, Early, 
and Marvin, had all been called away by the silent mes- 
senger. Six of his colleagues gone ! The death of none of 
them seemed to affect \\\m so much as the death of Enoch 
Mather Marvin. It was so unexpected. He had not 
thought once of seeing this young Bishop depart and leave 
him. Another death near the same tinie greatly grieved 
him. This was the death of Brother Moss, presiding elder 
in the Memj^his Conference. Moss was a rising man. His 
preaching ability was of a very high order. His vivid im- 
agination, his numerous and apt illustrations always ex- 
pressed in choice language, his vehemence as manifested 
both in the impassioned thoughts and in the strength of 
voice, all made him one of the most powerful preachers in 
the ^Memj^his Conference. His death was a great loss to the 
Church, and especially to the IMemphis Conference. The 
Bishop closed the labors of this year by holding the Louis- 
iana Conference at Opelousas, Louisiana. He was now 
seventy-eight years of age. During this year he held 
twelve District Conferences in six difii rent States. He had 
gone twice to Nashville — first to attend the last communion 



2SG LIFE OF ROBERT rATNE, D.D. 

ill the old McKendree Church, and then to be at the Bisli- 
ops' meeting. He had preached often in country churches, 
and had baptized both children and adults. Was he not 
in labors abundant? He had not yet crossed the "dead- 
line.^' He was welcomed to every home, desired in all the 
pulpits, and no one was more popular than he in the cabi- 
net or in the chair. 

The year 1878 was passed by the Bishop in great suffer- 
ing. He became greatly emaciated. His nights afforded 
him but little sound natural sleep. During the days he 
endured alruost intolerable pain. He tried Lithia-water, 
but it gave him no relief. He consulted the best j^hysicians, 
and they Avere unable to render him any assistance. He 
was dying by inches. We no longer accompany him in 
active labor, for afflicted as he was with an incurable mala- 
dy of a most painful character and with the weight of near- 
ly four-score years upon him, he was no longer able to do 
the active work which had been his delight for more than 
sixty years. He was, however, determined to do what he 
could. His first work was to attend the session of the Gen- 
eral Conference at Atlanta, Georgia. He was most com- 
fortably entertained in the family of Governor Colquitt. 
Here he had every attention that Christian culture and 
love could give. He presided a few times, but v.'as frequent- 
ly too unwell to attend, and was able to attempt to preach 
but once during the Conference. He, however, took the 
liveliest interest in all the questions that came up for dis- 
cussion or for legal decision. He had implicit confidence 
in his colleagues, and felt all secure with them conducting 
the great interests of the Church. After the Conference he 
spent a short time in Georgia at the home of his son James, 
but was unable to preach or even to attend church. He 
arrived at home early in June and remained until the last 
of the month. Sick and suffering as he was, he attended a 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 287 

District Conference at Senatobia, INlississippi. He preached 
on Sabbath from the text, '* Knowing that he ^Yhich raised 
up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall 
present us Avith you" (2 Corinthians iv. 14). Though 
greatly exhausted, he did not suffer so much from the effort 
to preach as he feared. He also attended a District Con- 
ference on the 5tli of July at luka, Mississij^pi. He was 
unable to preach, and was suffering constant and severe 
pain. He got ready to attend other District Conferences, 
but found himself unable to do so. Besides, the yellow fe- 
ver was prevailing at Water Valley, Holly Springs, and at 
other towns in Mississippi. A j^anic j^revailed even at 
Aberdeen, and many families left. He therefore remained 
at home, "suffering greatly day and night." He con- 
sented to hold the Memphis Conference at Jackson, Ten- 
nessee, on December 4; the North Mississippi at Macon, 
December 11; and the Mississippi, on December 18. He 
attended and held the first two, but was unable to do more. 
Exhausted with pain and too feeble to go on with his work, 
he telegraphed to one of his colleagues that he could do no 
more. He returned home feeling and writing that his work 
was nearly done. During the rc?^t of the winter 1878-79 he 
was able to do nothing, and was so feeble and in a state of 
so great suffering that he was not even able to attend church 
until the 20th of April. Feeble as he Avas, he attended 
the Bishops' meeting at Nashville in J\Iay. From Xashville 
he went to Hurricane Springs. Here he tried to preach 
sitting in his chair, from John xiv. 1-3. He talked famil- 
iarly, hopefully, and yet seriously, on our Father's house 
with many mansions, and had the solemn attention of the 
little company assembled to hear him. He did not exert 
himself, and yet he suffered intensely, and had to remain 
closely in his room all the next day. The water of the 
springs did not suit his case. The secretion of the blood 



288 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

became greater, and his sufferings increased. He therefore 
left the springs and returned home. While at home he 
penned the following letter: 

Dear Brother McFerrin: Let me congratulate you, your ahle and 
noble Book Committee, as well as all otlier members and friends 
Avho have contributed to sustain the honor of our Southern Method- 
ism. It thrilled my heart to learn that the big debt of §300,000 had 
been provided for. Hear it ! The Methodists, South, do not repu- 
diate an honest debt. They, like all other honest men, frankly con- 
fess it, and pay it as soon as tliey can. Poor we may be — and how 
poor we are down liere those North cannot conceive — yo^i our Meth- 
odism is a debt-paying religion. In this respect at least we are true 
Wesleyans, and no man shall take this honor from us. And now let 
us pay jprompthj our subscriptions, and go forward to meet our obliga- 
tions to God and man by sending the gospel to the whole world. 

My health has not improved much, I am feeble, and sometimes 
suffer intensely. Then 1 can do nothing but endure. At other times 
I am comparatively easy. How I may do my work at my Animal 
Conferences I cannot tell; but it is my purpose to attend them (/). 
v.), and do the best I can, Tliey lie among my old friends, and I 
want to see the members again. They will sustain me and bear with 
me as they have heretofore done. I know this. Bishop Pierce has, in 
two notes, tendered me his assistance at Murfreesboro ; and while un- 
willing to impose any additional labor uj^on one who I fear has already 
taken too much upon himself, yet, as he assures me that neither his 
convenience nor his present state of health forbids, I have invited him 
to come. My strength may fail; and, anyhow, I am sure we will be 
greatly deliglited to liave him with us. Above all, may God be with 
us always! Your old friend and brother, E, Paixe, 

Aberdeen, Miss., Sept. 30, 1879. 

He continued at home until October, unable to do any 
work. On October 1, 1879, he left home, suffering and fee- 
ble as he was, and attended the Tennessee Conference at 
Murfreesboro. Here he had the valuable assistance of 
Bishop Doggett, Bishop Doggett preached a great sermoii 
ou "The judgment of the last day," and Bishop Paine per- 
formed the ordination services. After the close of the Con- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 289 

fercuce he ^Yent to the Red Sulphur Springs, in ^lacon coun- 
ty, Tennessee. He had to go over a rough road, hy private 
conveyance, and suffered much on the trip. He staid at 
the springs some three weeks, but derived no benefit from 
the waters. Still brave, and determined to work as long as 
he had any strength at all, he left for the Korth Alabama 
Conference, which he held at Tuscaloosa. It will be re- 
membered that he liad traveled on the Tuscaloosa Circuit 
in his youth, when Tuscaloosa was a small village, and that 
his circuit extended from where Demopolis now stands to 
the State line on the north. He had lived among the 
mountains of North Alabama in the prime of his manhood, 
and had frequently visited the City of Oaks in the interest 
of La Grange College. He was now there for the last time. 
The wilderness had indeed been made to rejoice. He now 
presided over a flourishing Conference, and the territory 
over which the boy-preacher traveled was now occupied by 
thirty or forty preachers. The wonderful development of 
North Alabama was not unexpected to him. Its vast min- 
eral wealth had been foretold by him forty years before. 
The spirit of the Conference cheered him in the midst of 
pain and feebleness. There was life in that Conference. 
It was abreast of the age. He saw a grand future opening 
before it. He ordained sixteen deacons and eight ciders, 
and at the close of the Conference felt better than at the 
beo-inninjr. He went directlv from the North Alabama Con- 
ference to Greensboro, Alabama. He preached to the stu- 
dents of the university, though unable to stand. Indeed, he 
was not able to preach sitting on his chair ; but he was so 
anxious to lead young men to Christ that in spite of pain 
and feebleness he gave them such godly counsel as his 
whole life so well fitted him to give. Accompanied by his 
devoted wife, he went from Greensboro to Tuskegee, Ala- 
bama, the seat of the Alabama Conference. I \n:d not 



290 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

seen him for several years. I was shocked Avhen I Icoked 
upon that once compact, manly, erect form so wasted by dis- 
ease and the infirmities of age. His eyes still beamed Avith 
the light of other days. He gave me a tender, cordial 
grasp, and uttered so many bright, playful words that he 
soon removed the sadness Avhich his quick eye readily saw 
overspreading my countenance. I offered to assist him in 
going from one car to another, but he pleasantly said : " Let 
rae help you, Rivers." He said this referring to my lame- 
ness, which often seemed to demand help. There were 
quite a number of preachers on the way to Conference, and 
none seemed to be in better spirits than the venerable Bishop. 
His pale countenance gave evidence of constant suffering, 
but his words did not indicate at all what he was constantly 
enduring. He said playfully that one of the Bishops had 
kindly offered to assist him, but that he hoped to be able 
to hold the Conference without having to call upon one of 
his colleagues. Conversing thus cheerfully, we arrived at 
Tuskegee, Alabama, December 16, 1879. He was often 
unable to be at the Conference before ten o'clock, and while 
in the chair seemed to be suffering most excruciating agony. 
It was a very protracted session, and did not close until 
late on Thursday night. 

Before the appointments were read out, he delivered his 
last talk to the Alabama Conference. It was as loving and 
tender as ever were the words of John the beloved disciple. 
It taught us patience, forbearance, and " sweet charity." It 
was the unfolding of the heart of the venerable father to the 
gaze of his sons. He spoke of his early ministry. He re- 
ferred to changes which had taken place in his notions of 
the administration of discipline. He was eloquent in the 
softest and tenderest words that I had ever heard even from 
his lips. He seemed to me to be the very embodiment of 
love. The pale, wan face, the sunken eyes, and the trem- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 291 

bling voice, together ^Yith the midnight hour — cold, freezing 
Aveather — all together made the closing scenes of the Ala- 
bama Conference of 1879 the most tenderly impressive that 
I had ever ^vitnessed. That night he pressed my hand for 
the last time. He said tenderly to me. "I shall soon be 
ffone. 'Tis all rio-ht." These were the last words he ever 
spoke to his old pupil. 

The night was cold, but cold as it was he left for his 
home, which he reached after great suffering and some delay. 
The delay was at Selma, where he had the most gentle and 
loving attention of his friend Mrs. Maria Byrd, widow of his 
old and dearly loved pupil Judge W. M. Byrd, assisted by the 
gentle hands of her affectionate Christian daughters, Misses 
Sallie and Luna. He arrived at home in a suffering con- 
dition, and wrote in his diary : " I doubt if I can ever hold 
another Conference. Still losing blood. Have done so little 
good am ashamed, but I have tried to be honest and faith- 
ful and rely on God's mercy in Christ." Again he writes: 
" Feeble, trusting. The gospel only assures us of immortal 
happiness. ' We know.' It is enough for faith. I do be- 
lieve." He did, ho;ivever, attend the Bishops' meeting in 
Kashville, and received all the care and attention he so 
greatly needed at the hospitable home of Captain Fite, who 
married the daughter of his old friend Dr. A. L. P. Green. 
As he was suffering so much, he remained away from home 
but a short time. 

On the 9th of October he remembered his spiritual birth- 
day. With an energy and determination which astonished 
his most intimate friends, he attended the Tennessee Con- 
ference at Pulaski, Tennessee. Bishop McTyeire was Avith 
him, and gave him valuable assistance. He enjoyed tlie 
Conference at his old home, though all were gone whom he 
knew in his boyhood, and when he was a merchant's clerk. 



292 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XLI. 

Stilt. Suffering and Working — Dr. Palmer's Visit. 

ON October 30, at home, he learned that Bishop Doggett 
had preceded him — that he was dead! He felt this to 
be a great calamity, and was much distressed. A great 
man had fallen, and his venerable colleague was too feeble 
to say a Avord on the sad occasion. Upon the anniversary 
of his birth, he writes: "Eighty-one years old to-day. 
Thank God! More purity, patience, and love." Again we 
find him disappointing himself and astonishing his breth- 
ren by attending the North Mississippi Conference at Co- 
lumbus, Mississippi. And this ended his labors and his 
sufferings for the year 1880. It was about this time, I 
believe, that he was visited by that distinguished Presbyte- 
rian minister Dr. B. M. Palmer, of New Orleans. We take 
from the South-western Presbyterian the following interesting 
account of that visit as given by Dr. Palmer himself: 

Mr. Editor : Few Christians of any denomination visit Aberdeen, 
Mississippi, without paying their respects to the venerable Bishop 
Paine, of the Metliodist Episcopal Church, South. The interview 
with which I indulged a few days ago was so touching that I have 
a desire to put it on record for the benefit of others besides myself. 

The conversation opened naturally Avith a reference to his state 
of health, and to the severe chronic disease which more than his 
great age disables him from active service. " I cannot describe to you 
my feelings," said this Cliristian patriarch, "when the physician 
entreated me to cease preaching, and to rest henceforth from all 
labor. It overwhelmed me to tliink that I sliould do nothing any 
more to make the world better in which I lived." " I can a])preciate 
it. Bishop," was the rejjly. "It must be a solemn moment when we 
realize that our work on earth is done, and we fold it up for tlie 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 293 

judgment -day." "Ah!" said he, "if I were only permitted to 
l)reach again, I wouUl endeavor to do it with greater simplicity and 
iinpressi\'eness. I would go directly for the conscience, and seek to 
hring sinners at once to Christ." ''U it is painful to you," I vent- 
ured to suggest, "to he laid aside now, it must he a comfort to reflect 
tliat rest comes to you after a long and lahorious ministry," "Yes; 
I thank God that I can look hack over sixty years of active service, 
and upon many tokens of the Divine hlessing upon it." After 
awhile the conversation drifted upon the suffering which it pleased 
the Master to send upon his aged servant. " It is very acute," said 
he, "Only an hour hefore you came in, it seemed as great as I could 
hear." "It is very mysterious," I rejoined, "that we should he let 
out from life through so nmch suffering," " It is proper," he added, 
" that we should seek to assuage pain ; hut I would not desire to have 
mine a particle less than my Heavenly Father wills," "Bishop, I 
have sometimes thought a Christian should be willing to endure a 
good deal of bodily pain, if he can thereby testify to the holiness 
of God, who will not allow sin to go unreproved even in those 
whom he loves and saves," "Ah! yes," replied he, '"but the com- 
plete vindication of the Divine holiness is to be found in the suffer- 
ings upon the cross. No one can doubt this when he looks there." 
Fearing to weary him, I rose to take my leave. With the sweet 
courtesy which has always distinguished this Christian gentleman, 
lie followed me to the door, leaning upon his staff. After express- 
ing satisfaction at my visit, he sent messages of love to the ministers 
of his Church in New Orleans. "Remember me to Bishop Keener, 
to Drs, Parker, Walker, and Matthews, and tell them I am very 
near the other shore, and I think I know the landings," "Yes, 
Bishop, and the landing is very safe." "Blessed be God," he re- 
plied, "I know the landing on the other side, and it is safe," Thus, 
after the lapse of eighteen hundred years, from the lips of this 
Christian patriarch falls the echo of Paul's cheerful testimony: "I 
know Avhora I have believed, and am persuaded that Pie is able to 
keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day. " 

B. M. Palmer. 



294 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XLII. 

"Notes of Life" — Wesley Hall — A Fraternal Meeting. 

IN 1881, while suffering from the malady Avhich was taking 
his very life's blood and bringing him by steps slow and 
painful to the grave, and wdiile nervous and feeble as an in- 
fant, he wrote for the Nashville Christian Advocate the series 
of articles under the head of " Notes of Life." They were 
copied in nearly all the Church papers, and read with thrill- 
ing interest by thousands. They seemed almost like mes- 
sages from the spirit land. He shoAved all the vigor of style, 
and elegance yet simplicity of diction, which had charac- 
terized the productions of his matured manhood and when 
in vigor of bodily health. In May hcAvent to the Bishops' 
meeting at Nashville, and attended a District Conference 
at Hobson's Chapel. He dedicated Wesley Hall and made 
a speech on the occasion, of which this is a brief report : 

"'This day,' said he, 'makes a new era in the history 
of the Church. It is a day to be noted in our calendar. 
I thank God that I have lived to see it, and to feel the in- 
spiration of this occasion. Like the holy Simeon, though 
I feel unworthy to use my name in connection with his, 
I can say with a full heart, Niuic dimittis.' The ven- 
erable Bishop then briefly reviewed the situation in the 
South at the close of the war, and drew a graphic and touch- 
ing picture of it as it lay bleeding and prostrate. ' It was 
at this juncture,' he said, 'that the gift of Commodore Cor- 
nelius Vanderbilt came as a beam of light in the great dark- 
ness. The founding of Vanderbilt University was the ful- 
fillment of long cherished hopes, and it was the answer to 
many prayers.' The Bishop spoke with great feeling, and 
as he warmed with his theme his feeble frame seemed to 



BISHOP OP THE »r. e. church, south. 295 

gi'ow strong and his tremulous tones pealed out with the old 
martial ring." -i^ 

He "vvas satisfied now to depart and be with Christ, for his 
eyes had seen the completion of a hall in which for gener- 
ations to come the young disciples of Christ were to be pre- 
pared for the great work of the ministry. As he looked 
upon this child of the Church, wdth holy reverence he 
adopted the language of Simeon upon the dedication of the 
child Jesus : " Now, Lord, lettest thou thy servant depart in 
peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." He was able 
to attend but two Conferences during this year. Feeble 
and suffering, he presided at the Memphis Conference held 
at Bolivar, Tenn. "At this Conference a resolution was 
adopted unanimously, all standing — the Secretary putting 
the question — expressive of the sentiments of the brethren 
in regard to the venerable presiding Bishop, Paine, the object 
of the reverence and love of the members, old and young: 

Resolved, That we are devoutly thankful to God tliat in his prov- 
idence he has spared our beloved and venerable senior Bishop — the 
Eev. Robert Paine — to visit us once more as a Conference, and that 
he has been enabled to preside with so much ability and satisfaction; 
and we pray tliat the blessings of the great Head of the Church may 
strengthen and sustain him in his declining life, and bring him in 
peace to his grave and in blessed triumph to heaven. 

T. L. BoswELL, J. D. Rush, T. II. Evans. 

" Rev. T. L. Boswell delivered to the Bishop a very touch- 
ing farewell address. To this address the Bishop, sitting in 
his chair, made a most tender response touching all hearts. 
A beautiful picture will that service long remain hanging 
in a choice place in memory's gallery. Hope, rich and 
mellow, w^as the experience of our dear Bishop all through 
the session, as shown in frequent utterances of lessons full 
of wisdom and love. His words were those of one speaking 
back to us from the land of rest and peace." f 

* Nashville Christian Advocate, f Ibid. 



296 LIFE OF ROBERT PAIXE, D.D. 



In January, 1882, while Bishop Peck of the Methodist 
p]piscopal Church, Avas holding a colored Conference in 
Aberdeen, Miss., he was invited by Bishop Paine to pay 
him a friendly social visit and dine Avith him. Other min- 
isterial friends were invited to meet the Bishop and dine 
also. Among them was the Rev. A. D. McVoy, President 
of the Aberdeen Female College, who gives the following 
account of what took place on that very interesting occasion : 

SYRACUSE AND ABERDEEN— A FRATERNAL SCENE. 

The meeting of Bishop Jesse T. Peck with Bishop Robert Paine 
was no ordinary occasion. They were together in the General Con- 
ference of 1844, and to-day, January 21, 1882, Bishop Peck was in- 
vited by Bishop Paine to dine with him. They liad not seen each 
other in thirty-eight years. Rev. J. C. Hartzell, D.D., of New Or- 
leans, accompanied Bishop Peck by invitation. The resident min- 
isters of the IMethodist and Presbyterian Churches, together with 
Rev. Amos Kendall, presiding elder of the Aberdeen District, were 
also present. Bishop Peck was presiding over the Mississippi Con- 
ference (colored), noAV in session at this place. It was a privilege to 
listen to the conversation of these venerable servants of God. How 
vividly they recalled their former days, when they were young and 
active in the service. Naturally their minds went back to the mem- 
orable Conference of 1844, and they dwelt amid those eventful 
scenes, little dreaming, as Bishop Paine remarked, that they were 
making history the outcome of which would be so large and so im- 
portant to the people of this nation. 

The speech of Bishop Pierce was recalled when he said: "Let 
New England go; she has been a thorn in our flesh long enough." 
To which Bishop Peck replied: "New England cannot be spared, 
nor South Carolina, nor Georgia, nor any other Southern State." 
Then the rejoinder of Bishop Pierce in Avhich he said that possibly 
he had been too severe, but tliat he meant no offense; and as for 
Bishop Peck, he said: "I would not by my remarks ruflle one single 
liair on the top of his head." As Bishop Peck was bald even then, 
this humorous reply was received by the large assembly with peals 
Df laughter. At the table Bishop Peck remarked that lie enjoyed 
richly Bishop Pierce's pleasantry. 



RISlIOr OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 297 

Bisliop Peck referred to the jjleasure it always gave to see a man, 
especially a minister, go down the hill of life gracefully, cheerfidly, 
and happily; and alluded to Blt^hop Scott of his own Church as af- 
fonilng an illustration of what he meant. Bishop Paine contrasted 
the experience of two aged ministers he had heard bid farewell to 
their respective Conferences — the one going down sad and despondent 
about earthly matters; the other a greater sutlerer from adverse cir- 
cumstances, but buoyant, clicerful, and hopeful. Bishop Peck there- 
upon related the anecdote of the elder Adams, when in his old age 
he said: "This tenement in which I have lived so long is going into 
dilapidation, and as the owner does not propose to repair it, I am 
making my arrangements to move out." Bishoj) Paine remarked: 
"I have long since lost all fear of death. I have passed that point 
forever. Death has lost all its terrors for me. I know no moment, 
except when asleep, that I am not racked with pain. It is a great 
deprivation to be held in forced inactivity when there is so much 
to be done for the Master; but the Lord knows best, and I submit 
without a murmur to his will." "Yes," replied Bishoj) Peck, "I 
know of your great labors in which the Lord has blessed you so 
abundantly, and I rejoice to find you too going down life's journey so 
gracefully, cheerfully, and hopefully." 

Dinner was announced, and around the inviting board the conver- 
sation ran on various toj^ics. Bishop Peck spoke of his home in 
Syracuse, and of his wife there Avho bid him Godspeed on his South- 
ern tour; and turning to Mrs. Paine, he expressed what great pleas- 
ure it would give him to entertain, her and her husband in his Syra- 
cusan home. lie remarked that as he passed through Xashville he 
looked with pride upon the great Publishing House and the stately 
Vanderbilt. lie entertained his little audience with an account of 
his travels through Europe, of the Ecumenical, of the Conferences 
he held, and especially of the great work in Sweden and Norway. 
On our return to the parlor, and the time ai>proaching for his return 
to the cabinet, Bishop Paine requested a word of prayer from him 
before they parted, in all probability never to see each other again 
on earth. Standing before the fire by the side of Bishop Paine, 
while we all stood around, he announced that he would sing these 
beautiful words, "My latest sun is sinking fast, my race is nearly 
run," etc., to the tune of Land of Beulah ; and with a firm and mellow 
and pleasant voice he sung through one verse and the chorus," Come, 



298 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



angel band," etc., in which we all earnestly and feelingly joined. 
There they stood. Bishop Paine just past liis eighty - second year, 
and Bishop Peck his seventy-second, singing together their parting 
song. Then we knelt in prayer, and Bishop Peck poured out his soul 
in earnest and fervent supplication for his venerable brotlier in the 
gospel, for liis family, for the ministers present, and for the spread of 
the gospel all over this Southern land as well as throughout the 
world. Then came the parting scene, and Bishop Peck took leave 
of one and all, remarking how much he had enjoyed this delightful 
reunion with his good brother Bishop Paine. 

Bishop Peck preached Sabbath night, in the Methodist Church 
here, a strong gospel sermon to a large and interested audience. At 
the close he sent his compliments to the choir, remarking how much 
he enjoyed the exceedingly beautiful and grand music of the occa- 
sion; and on parting, he said to Miss Ludie Paine, the Bishop's 
daughter: "Give my love to the Bishop, and tell him I shall long 
remember yesterday's interview; and as long as I live I will cherish 
his letter of invitation over his own signature, as among my most 
valued and choicest treasures." A. D. McVoY. 

Aberdeen, Miss., Jan. 23, 1882. 

He continued exceedingly feeble and was really unable 
to do any thing but suffer. We find this mournful entry on 
February 15, 1882: "William May Wightman is dead! 
He was a good and great man. Born January 29, 1808, in 
Charleston, S. C. Aged seventy-four years and one month, 
less one week. A cultured, consecrated life; a peaceful 
death." He, however, left home in April, 1882, for the 
General Conference in Nashville, Tenn. He stood the trip 
pretty well. After the reading of the Bishops' quadrennial 
address, a scene occurred in the General Conference rarely 
equaled for deep solemnity and the exhibition of the no- 
blest and tenderest Christian feeling. It was on the pres- 
entation of Bishop Paine's request to be relieved from 
active service. But we reserve this for our next chapter. 



r.isiior OF THE m. e. church, south. 299 



CHAPTER XLIII. 

Bishop Paine Ketiring — Dr. McFerrin's Speech — Bishop 
Pierce's Address — Great Feeling — Death of T. O. Sum- 
mers — Ordaining New Bishops — Keturning Home to Die. 

BISHOP PAINE delivered the following address, request- 
ing to be placed on the retired list, at the General Con- 
ference in Nashville, May, 1882 : ^ 

"Dear Brethren: While joining heartily with my col- 
leagues in the address you have heard, I beg your indul- 
gence to make a few remarks of a personal character. 
During nearly sixty-five years, I have had the honor of be- 
ing an itinerant Methodist preacher, and for thirty-six a 
Bishop. In the General Conference of 1824 I was a dele- 
gate, and as Bishop or delegate I have attended every session 
since then. For the confidence in my reliability, indicated by 
these facts, I wish now to return my most earnest gratitude. 
To my much respected colleagues in the episcopacy, between 
whom and myself the utmost cordial feelings have been unva- 
ryingly maintained, I tender my thanks. They have gener- 
ously supplied my lack of service by doing double duty. 
And now, beloved brethren, worn down with age and in- 
firmities, I ask to be permitted to retire from further active >/ 
service. Permit me, in conclusion, to congratulate you 
upon the auspicious circumstances under which you have 
met, and to remind you of your responsibility to God and 
to his Church. Should it be allowed me, in making this 
probably my last communication to a General Conference, 
to express the results of ray experience and observations as 
to the doctrines and polity of our beloved Methodism, I 



300 LIFE OF EGBERT PAINE, D.D. 

would say, after devoting a life-time to the study of its doc- 
trines, my conviction as to their scripturalness has strength- 
ened and my estimation of the importance of maintaining 
the essential features of its polity has increased. I do most 
devoutly thank God that in early life I became an itiner- 
ant Methodist preacher, and have continued such. But 
above all, I rejoice in the religious experience which Meth- 
odism presents as the privilege of its members, and the *joy 
unspeakable and full of glory.' To enjoy this is the crown- 
ing glory of the Christian life. I rejoice in a thorough con- 
version, consciously attested by the witnessing Spirit, a pure 
and consecrated daily life, and its end — if it can 2:)roperly be 
said ever to end — the crown of glory that fadeth not away. 
For this culmination I shall beg calmly and with humble 
confidence to wait until the pains and infirmities of this 
life shall j^ass away. There may we meet again ! " 

Long before the venerable Bishop had ceased reading the 
above, nearly all the members of the Conference were in 
tears. No one who was present will ever forget the affect- 
ing scene. When the address was finished the following 
verses were sung with deep feeling : 

Tlirough many dangers, toils, and snares 

I have already come; 
'T is grace has brought me safe thus far, 

And grace will lead me home. 

The Lord has promised good to me — 

His Avord my hope secures; 
He will my shield and portion be 

As long as life endures. 

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, 

And mortal life shall cease, 
I shall possess, within the veil, 

A life of joy and peace. 

In tones indicating strong emotion the venerable Rev, 
Dr. John B. McFerrin said : 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 301 



"I am too much overcome to take into consideration 
the paper read by the senior Bishop. There should be 
a proper response prepared and offered to the Bishop in 
the presence of the Conference. Our esteemed and dis- 
tinguished brother — I might say father — has been long 
"vvitli us, was once a member of the Tennessee Conference, 
and has belonged to no other Conference but the Tennessee 
Conference. He is one of the fcAV men — two or three — 
that voted to receive me into the Conference many long 
years ago. It has been my privilege in my humble way to 
be associated with him for more than fifty years. He al- 
Avays won the esteem of every member of the Conference. 
We all loved him, we always loved him, and since he has 
been elevated to the episcoj^acy we have always claimed 
him as a Tennessee Bishop. He has been in all our hearts, 
and we want to live with him and to die with him. A\^hile 
I say nothing to disparage any other Conference, nor dis- 
pute the claims of r.r.y other, still I hoj^e when God calls 
the spirit away his body may be brought to Kashville and 
be buried here, at the city where he commenced his work. 
We love him greatly, and all the Church loves him. I 
should like to say much more, but my feelings will not al- 
low me." 

Bishop Pierce then said : 

^^ Beloved Brother: Your colleagues and brethren re- 
joice to see you among them. We consider your pres- 
ence a benediction. It seems to me to be a beautiful prov- 
idence that you should have commenced your itinerant 
career sixty-five years ago at this very point, and that after 
concluding that circle of labors you are here in the pres- 
ence of your brethren, asking from them retirement from 
active service. Bless God that he has given to us your 
service so long! that he has spared you to attend this Con- 
ference. But while you cannot go forth in the Master's 



302 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

work, we may profit by your counsel, and rejoice in Chris- 
tian fellowshiiD with you. We do bless God that now, that 
in the sunset of your life, you are among us, and that when 
your sun shall go down you will pass into that heaven 
made glorious by the memories of the past, and the joys of 
the future. God bless you!" 

The Bishop was much affected by the death of Dr. T. O. 
Summers, which occurred almost at the beginning of the 
Conference. Dr. Summers was a man of varied learning, 
and of great versatility of talents. He was good and true, 
and his death, so unexpected, was a grief to the whole 
Church. Bishop Paine had been most intimately associat- 
ed with him, and loved him greatly. 

He took a lively interest in the work of the Conference, 
and presided a short time on May 8. He remained at Nash- 
ville in a suffering; and feeble condition until after the elec- 
tion of the Bishops. He led in the solemn services, and 
laid his trembling hands ujion the heads of Alpheus W. 
AVilson, Linus Parker, John C. Granbery, and Robert Ken- 
non Hargrove, consecrating them as Bishops in the Meth- 
odist Episcopal Church, South. It may be a pleasure to 
those Bishops to know what the Bishop wrote in his diary 
concerning them. He wrote two words only, but they are 
like apples of gold in pictures of silver : " Good and true.^^ 
Such words from such a man are worth more to the new 
Bishops than volumes of fulsome praise. Feeling unable 
to remain longer at the General Conference, he returned 
home on May 18. He was followed out of the Conference- 
room by a few devoted friends, among whom were Captain 
S. H. Dent, of Eufaula, Alabama, a delegate, and Dr. John 
W. Hanner, sr. He talked like one inspired — ^so full of 
his theme he did not seem to notice his old friend Dr. 
Hanner. Plis wife, so tender of him and so careful of oth- 
ers, called his attention to Dr. Hanner. The Bishop turned 



RTSnOP OF THE M. E. CIIURCIT, SOUTH. 303 

to liiiii with tlie deepest feeling, and holding out his trem- 
bling hand, ^vhich was grasped lovingly by Manner, he 
said : "John, I will soon be home ; I am almost there. John, 
you must meet me in heaven. Farewell! We'll meet 
a grain." 



304 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XLIV. 

Closing Scenes — Triumphant to the Last. 

HE never again entered the room of the General Confer- 
ence. In an incredibly short time he is again at home, 
receiving all the tender care so grateful in his deep affliction. 

On Sunday, May 28, he writes: "Bright, sweet Sunday; 
but I can't go to j^reaching. Trying to search myself. I 
feel no great glow of religious joy, but a calm, humble trust 
in the mercy of God through my Redeemer. JNIy family 
cares sometimes harass me, but I try to lay them all on the 
arm of Almighty PoAver and Infinite Love. I know that I 
was converted, and that I now love my God ; but I want the 
fullness of the gospel of Christ. I want perfect love, con- 
sciously attested by the Holy Spirit. O give me this ! " 

Although suffering so much, he still gave his Christian 
sympathies to those in sorrow. On October 3 he penned 
the following letter to Brother Brooks, of the North Mis- 
sissippi Conference. He had been a great favorite in the 
family of Brother Brooks, had baptized his children, and 
had ever been the honored and welcome guest in his family. 
One of the children had died, and learning of the sad event 
the Bishop, with all the love of a tender-hearted John, 
sent the bereaved family these words of sympathy and con- 
solation : 

Aberdeen, Miss., Oct. 3, 1882. 

Dear BrotJter Brooks: I have wanted to write you a word of Chris- 
tian condolence and sympathy on tlie decease of your precious 
daugliter, but have been too sick; having mended a little lately, I 
feel that I must do so to-day. We too liave sufTered, and know your 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CUUllCII, SOUTH. 305 

feelings. Let us endure to tlie end, Mine must be near, and thank 
God I believe it will be a happy one. We can't give up tlie battle 
now — fought too loug to surrender on tlie eve of final victory. 
Wife and family join in nuich love and condolence. May we and 
all ours meet in the better land! 

Your old friend and brother in Jesus, R. Paine. 

He was now confiiiGd pernianeiitly to the house, and never 
passed a day without suffering. He noted the death of Sen- 
ator Ben. Hill, of Georgia, as produced by cancer of the 
tongue. "A great statesman, a peerless orator, a sound 
IMethodist Christian." He made note also of the comet 
which appeared in the autumn of 1882. 

He had always loyed astronomy. While on circuits, dis- 
tricts, and stations he studied this sublime science in his ear- 
ly manhood. His birth was on the night of November 12, 
1799, made memorable by a shower of meteors. In 1833, 
at Pulaski, Teun., during Conference, he had witnessed these 
celestial fire-works with an enthiLsiasm and an apprcheiLsion 
of their true character which calmed the fears of all who 
listened to his words of wledom and learning. Now as he 
was closing his career a magnificent comet could be seen in 
the early morning sky. Feeble as he was, he must see this 
strange visitor. So with the assistance of his devoted wife 
and ever faithful daughter Ludie, he was made ready at three 
o'clock A.M., and was permitted to enjoy the sight. He then 
wrote in his diary: "The comet, pretty as a dream, seems 
nearly stationary, but is going from us east, not to reappear 
in three thousand five hundred years. Where shall we be 
then? In heaven, I hope. God's works glorious. Hope to 
understand them better in heaven." On October 9, his spir- 
itual birthday, he writes : " Sixty-five years ago, three o'clock 
r.M., at Davis Brown's, Giles county, Tennessee, I was par- 
doned and l)orn again, my heart and life changed. I do not 
think that I have since then wickedly departed from God. 
20 



30G LIFE OF ROBERT PAIXE, D.D. 

I joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and shortly after 
commenced to j^reach. I have tried to do my duty. Would 
be a Methodist preacher had I my life to go over again. 
Thanks forever, almost home!" 

Just a few days before this he wrote his last letter. It 
was to his old friend Dr. John B. McFerrin, and was in 
these words: 

I have suffered much since General Conference — Letter for a few 
days past. Have still on hand a few " Notes of Life," written with 
trembling nerves. They need revision. PerhajDs if I improve I may 
prepare them and add others; but I confess I doubt if I shall ever 
be able to write much more. Thank God, I have no anxiety upon 
this or any other matters. All I desire is more of God's grace. 

R. Paine. 

Day and night suffering as few men of his age could suf- 
fer, he continued uttering words of wisdom, enough almost 
to fill a volume. He was never able to revise his " Notes 
of Life," or to add another line to them. He continued in 
bed, at intervals reading the Bible and conversing pleasant- 
ly and hoj)efully with his family, until on the night of the 
18th of October, 1882, he became unconscious. On the 19th 
\i he breathed his last, and his pure spirit was borne to heaven 
at about four o'clock a.m. His departure was as quiet and 
calm as his career had been trustful, and his Avhole life from 
the age of eighteen had been dedicated to God and his work. 

The following graphic account of his last moments and 
of his funeral is given by his friend and son in the gospel 
the Rev. Robert Paine Mitchell, who was with him often, 
and wrote down his last utterances at the time : 

" On Wednesday, the 18th instant, at about one o'clock p.m., 
he became speechless, and as we supposed was in a dying 
condition, and indeed thought he would not live more than 
one hour; but he rallied a little about nine o'clock at night, 
and we ])cgan to hope that he would yet recover conscious- 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CIIURCir, SOUTH. 307 

ness, and be able to talk to us, but he began to sink again 
about two o'clock, and lingered until about twenty-nine min- 
utes past four A.M., when quietly and without a struggle, 
like an infant in its mother's arms, he fell 'asleep in Jesus,' 
and his freed spirit winged its way to the bright world. 
His last days were full of peace and holy triumph. Al- 
most a book could be filled with expressions of wisdom as 
well as joy which fell from his lips during the last few 
months of his life. The writer visited him two days before 
his death, and these were the last words he ever heard him 
utter: 'Brother, I am at perfect peace with God and all 
mankind. I can trust my Heavenly Father implicitly. I 
have no anxiety about the future.' On the 9th of October, 
his sj^iritual birthday, he made in his diary a triumphant 
and thankful record, and the last record, nervously traced 
by his trembling hand, was, 'Almost home, thank God!' 
Among the last expressions before he became sjieechlcss 
was a repetition of the long meter doxology, 'Praise God, 
from whom all blessings flow,' etc. ; and thus in his very last 
hours he gave strong evidence of his abiding confidence in 
God. When speaking of dying, he always said, ' I have no 
fear of death as to its results, but I dread the physical suf- 
fering which must attend the dissolution of soul and body,' 
and frequently asked his friends to pray that he might be 
delivered from great bodily sufiering in his last moments. 
God graciously spared him all pain ; there was not a strug- 
gle or groan. As soon as he was dead Bishop McTyeire was 
notified by telegraph, and requested to attend his funeral. 
He reached Aberdeen on Friday night, and the funeral- 
services were held in church on Saturday at twelve o'clock. 
The Bishop was assisted by Revs. Amos Kendall, presiding 
elder of the district, A. D. McVoy, S. A. Steele, John H. 
Scruggs, R. G. Porter, and the writer. Brothers Kendall, 
Scruggs, McYoy, Steele,. Porter, Long, Kilgore, and H. B. 



LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 



Scruggs acted as pall-bearers. The church was handsomely 
and tastefully draped for the occasion. Just back of the pul- 
pit, midway betAveeu the floor and the ceiling, encircled by 
a wreath of flowers, were printed these tender words, ' Our 
Bishop,' and underneath the book-board on the front of the 
pulpit the word ' Rest' was Avoven in evergreens and flowers, 
and the Avhole surrounded with drapery significant of the 
sorroAV felt not only by us here, but by the whole Church. 
The corpse was met at the door of the church by the pas- 
tor, and the solemn service read as it Avas borne down the 
aisle to the chancel, Avhen the Rev. J. H. Scruggs announced 
hymn 739, which was rendered very feelingly by the choir ; 
Rev. R. G. Porter read the ninetieth psalm, and Rev. S. 
A. Steele the fifteenth of 1 Corinthians, and the choir sung 
hymn 716, announced by Rev. A. D. McVoy. The Bish- 
op's remarks Avere founded on Matt. xvi. 18. His discourse 
Avas strong and comforting, and the delineation of the char- 
acter of the deceased full and complete. The spacious au- 
ditorium of our church Avas filled to its utmost capacity. 
The poor of the place, the merchants, and schools each 
turned out in procession, thus shoAving the high apprecia- 
tion the community had of this venerable man of God. O 
how Ave shall miss him, his Avise counsels, his cheerful Avords, 
his godly example! Let the Church everyAvhere pray for 
his stricken family. R. P. Mitchell." 

All that was mortal of the great and good man now sleeps 
in the cemetery of Aberdeen. Dr. E. R. Hendrix gives the 
folloAving brief statement, summing up the progress of the 
Church of Avhich he Avas a pillar and an ornament for sixty- 
five years. Let it not be forgotten that during all these 
years he contributed largely to this prosperity, and that he 
has noAV recei\'ed the Avelcome, "Well done, good and faith- 
ful servant : " 

"Bishop Paine lias just 'fallen asleep' at the ripe age of 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 309 

eighty-three. His life, which began just before the diwn 
of the present century, may help to measure to some minds 
what progress Christianity has made during a single human 
life. When Bishop Paine was born in 1799 there were but 
seven Protestant missionary societies ; now there are seventy. 
When he was yet an infant there were only one hundre<^ and 
seventy missionaries ; now there are over two thousand four 
hundred ordained missionaries, besides hundreds of ordained 
native preachers and over twenty-three thousand native help- 
ers, catechists, teachers, etc. Then there were not ovei fifty 
thousand converted heathen under the care of evangelical 
missions; now there are one million six hundred and fifty 
thousand. In fact, in one year (1878) more souls were con- 
verted from heathenism than could be found in all the mis- 
sions when Robert Paine was born. Then the entire income 
from missions was less than one-quarter of a million dollars ; 
now it reaches over six million. Then the number of evangel- 
ical mission-schools was seventy; to-day they are twelve thou- 
sand, with more than four hundred thousand students. Then 
there had been published five million copies of the Bible in 
fifly languages ; to-day one hundred and forty-eight million 
copies may be found in whole or in part in two hundred and 
twenty-six languages and dialects. If a single human life 
may witness such marvelous progress as that in heatlien 
lands, what courage should possess every soldier of Christ! " 



310 LIFE OF ROBERT TAINE, D.D. 



CHAPTER XLV. 

Summing Up of His Life and Character. 

WE have endeavored carefully to give the facts in a life 
going far beyond the usual limits. We have seen our 
subject in his boyhood, youth, manhood, and in old age. 
We have looked into his whole life as a boy at school, a 
merchant's clerk, a sincere seeker of religion, a happy 
Christian, a young preacher traveling a circuit, stationed 
in towns, becoming presiding elder and a delegate to the 
General Conference at the age of twenty-four years. Then 
we have seen him as president of a college, and finally as 
Bishop of the whole Church, doing efficient work for the 
cause of God for more than sixty years. Now we are pre- 
pared to make a brief summary of his character. 

1. He was a man of indomitable energy. He spent as 
few moments unemployed as any one we have ever known. 
He was the active boy, the diligent student, the faithful 
preacher, the laborious college president, and the indefati- 
gable Bishop. From the age of eighteen to the time he was 
so worn by disease as to be unable to leave his home, he 
was ever on the go, " always at work." 

2. He was possessed of inflexible firmness. He was by 
no means a stubborn man. His was the firmness of a strong 
will, and not of violent passion. It was the firmness of the 
highest manhood, and was in no respect akin to the stub- 
bornness of a fierce animal blinded by beastly passion. A 
man taking position at the dictate of passion is very far re- 
moved from the man whose position is taken and held at 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CnURCH, SOUTH. 311 

the dictate of reason aud conscience. A stubborn man 
never listens to the dictates of reason or to the voice of 
conscience. Blinded by passion, he heeds not the calls of 
the higher principles of his nature. A man of firmness is 
calm. Xo perturbation of disordered feelings, no violence 
of tyrannical passion, sways or controls him. He is gov- 
erned by principle. He is self-possessed. He stands un- 
moved amid all the clamors of appetite and the influences 
beneath ^Yhich the weak fall prostrate. Such was the firm- 
ness of Bisliop Paine. It was rational. It was thoroughly 
conscientious, and was not in the least produced by a par- 
oxysm of blind feeling, however deep. It was the decision 
of the self-poised man, the determination arising from calm 
convictions undisturbed by the perturbations of passion. 

3. He was as brave as he was firm. He was a stranger 
to fear. Where duty called there he was found, in the 
midst of epidemics or facing Avrathful men threatening his 
life. His courage led him to be faithful to duty often at the 
risk of his life. 

4. His magnanimity was of the highest order. He was 
never known to do a little, mean thing. He was above all 
this. He would shoulder any responsibility demanded by 
his position and undergo any obloquy to shield his brethren 
from unjust reproach. 

5. Bishop Paine was a writer of far more than ordinary 
merit. He was an accurate English scholar and a good 
rhetorician. He seldom made a mistake. He became al- 
most rigid as a critic from his great desire as a teacher in 
prevent his pupils from becoming extravagant or bombastic 
in their written exercises. He was a great pruner. He re- 
moved all inappropriate and redundant words. He applied 
this criticism to his own productions. His style as a writer 
was neat and often elegant, but never gorgeous. In ex- 
temporaneous addresses, especially in his young days, his 



812 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

powerful imagination may have indulged in flights not in 
accordance with the most rigid demands of pure taste ; but 
he never allowed this to mar his written productions. He 
may therefore be justly classed among our best writers. 

6. He was great in his attainments. He was a practical 
geologist of the first class. Had he devoted himself entirely 
to this department, he would have been the equal of any 
scientist in the land. As it was, he was the first to foretell 
the immense mineral resources of Alabama and of the 
AVest. As a philosopher, he was not a whit behind the 
greatest of the age. He had mastered the science of mind 
and morals, and was a most astute logician and a splendid 
lecturer. 

7. He was a gospel preacher in the fullest sense of that 
word. He loved gospel themes, and he presented them 
with clearness and in demonstration of the Spirit. He was 
a profound theologian. In this department he kept pace 
with the age. He not only read and thoroughly digested 
Richard Watson, John Wesley, and all the old fathers of 
Methodism, but he was familiar with the productions of the 
best writers of this age on the doctrines of our beloved 
Christianity. He read the most recent commentators and 
studied them thoroughly. He read the religious quarter- 
lies both of his own Church and of other branches of the 
Church. He was among the first to secure any new Avork 
and to read it with care and full appreciation. It was this 
constant reading and continuous exercise of his mental 
powers that kept up their vigor to the last. He was at 
times a j^reacher fit to be ranked with the greatest ever de- 
veloped by our holy Christianity. He glowed with seraphic 
fire. His clear and full exposition of divine truth ; his rigid 
and masterful logic; his caustic satire ; his language rich, 
chaste, and classical ; his imagination original, creative, and 
cultured; his taste refined and almost faultless; and added 



BISHOP OF THE M. E. CHURCH, SOUTH. 313 

to all this, a voice full, clear, and sonorous, and a heart all 
alive uith divine love, and with the Holy Spirit attending 
every utterance — all these, united in one great sermon, 
placed him among the most gifted of sacred orators, tlic 
most powerful of gospel preachers. I have heard him when 
he seemed inspired, and I am sure that I have not exag- 
gerated his great power as a preacher of the gospel of the 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

8. He was a great Bishop. He was thoroughly acquaint- 
ed with ecclesiastical law, and he had the decision of chai- 
acter which enabled him to carry it out. He presided with 
dignity and authority unmixed with the least exercise of 
arbitrary power. He was as free from tyranny on the one 
hand as he was from lack of decision on the other. He 
was impartial and thoroughly just. He understood his 
duty, and he did it in the fear of God. A Methodist Bishop 
is invested with great power. He could make himself an 
autocrat. He could become a source of great evil by the 
exercise of arbitrary power. Then he might do great harm 
to the Church by having his favorites among the preachers. 
He w^as neither arbitrary nor partial. He was strong and 
self-poised. He united the gentleness of a woman with the 
strength of the brightest Christian manhood. Thus he was 
a model Bishop. 

9. He was a Christian. He was under the bajitism of the 
Holy Ghost for sixty-five years, and was thoroughly conse- 
crated to the service of God and his Church. He had no envy 
or pride, and he was the embodiment of truth. He " bore all 
things, believed all things, hoped all things, endured all things, 
never behaved himself unseemly, and thought no evil." As a 
Christian he was bright and cheerful. He indulged in no 
bitterness, but grew sweeter in spirit as age and infirmities in- 
creased. He did not profess sanctification, and yet he had 
the perfect love which took away all fear and removed all 



314 LIFE OF ROBERT PAINE, D.D. 

auxiety — the perfect love which enabled him to say, " I am 
almost home," and to say, "I know the landing on the 
other shore, and it is safe." 

Such a man was Bisho]^ Paine. As husband and father, 
and in all the relations of life, he was without a soil upon 
his garments — a perfect and an upright man, one that 
feared God and hated evil. He is gone, and this picture, 
drawn by the loving hand of an old and devoted pupil, 
is now .presented to the Church as a correct likeness of 
one whose sublime virtues should not only excite our ad- 
miration and win our love, but determine our imitation. 
This picture — in which the utmost accuracy has been 
sought, and in which the effort has been made to draw every 
lineament true to the life — is now sent upon its mission with 
the prayer that thousands may be made wiser and better 
by its examination. It is now before the reader. Gaze 
upon it until the majesty of the great original shall so im- 
press you that you will feel that you are in close company 
with the model Bishop, the pure Christian, the powerful 
preacher, the eminent servant of God. In this company I 
leave you. 



The End.